Industries Energy/Green

First quarter earnings are flat at Dominion

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THE TAKE:  First-quarter earnings were flat at Dominion when compared with the same quarter last year. Dominion announced first quarter operating earnings Thursday of $476 million or 83 cents per share, compared to earnings of $486 million or 85 cents per share for the same period in 2012.  The results came in below the midpoint of the company’s guidance range of 80 to 95 cents per share, which it said was due to several factors including lower merchant generation margins, lower electric sales and higher than normal storm service restoration activity. The company reported $53 million of restoration costs associated with severe storms affecting its Dominion Virginia Power and Dominion North Carolina Power service territories.

THE NUMBERS:
Reported earnings: GAAP earnings came in at $495 million, compared with $494 million for the same period last year
Reported earnings per share: 86 cents per share in the first quarter, unchanged from the year before. (The company said the principal difference between GAAP and operating earnings was related to investments in nuclear decommissioning trust funds.)

THE COMPANY’S TAKE:  Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and CEO,  said in a statement:  “Despite the challenging quarter, we remain committed to delivering 5 percent to 6 percent earnings per share growth this year. Our long-term growth plan continued to progress at our Dominion Virginia Power and Generation business segments, with both making strides on numerous projects that will provide the foundation for expected future earnings growth.  We also achieved several milestones in our Cove Point LNG liquefaction project [located in Lusby, Md.]. With the signing of 20-year terminal service agreements with two companies, the capacity of the project is fully subscribed. We also executed an Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) agreement for the liquefaction facilities and submitted our application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  Subject to receipt of regulatory approvals, we expected to begin construction in 2015, with an in-service date in 2017.’’


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