We raise our 12-month target price by $8 to $76, 21.4x our 2022 EPS estimate (raised $0.02 to $3.55; 2023 estimate raised $0.01 to $3.77), in line with electric utility peer valuations on comparable rate base, EPS, and dividend growth prospects, as well as a healthy service territory economy. EVRG posts Q1 adj. EPS of $0.58 vs. $0.55., $0.03 above consensus, with higher transmission margin and lower O&M costs, offset by higher depreciation and amortization. Retail electric sales grew 0.4% vs. the prior-year quarter, led by industrial (+2.7%), while residential sales fell 1.2%, in line with our expectations. EVRG appears less exposed to the potential industry capex delays from broader federal investigations into tariff violations on solar panel imports, as more of its near-term renewable capex involves wind investments. We expect higher electric rates at Missouri West and Missouri Metro around Q4, following decisions in pending rate cases.
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