Dominion reports 3.5 percent increase in operating earnings for 2009

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Dominion Resources Inc. reported today that operating earnings for all of 2009 came in at $1.94 billion ($3.27 a share), compared to operating earnings of $1.84 billion ($3.16 per share) for 2008. 

Richmond-based Dominion uses operating earnings as the primary performance measurement of its earnings guidance. “Our core businesses delivered solid operating earnings results in 2009 despite challenging economic conditions in many of the markets we service,”  Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion’s CEO said in a statement. “Driven by the performance of our gas transmission operations, as well as lower financing costs and lower income taxes, our 2009 operating earnings landed in the upper half of our guidance range. “

A big challenge in the fourth quarter was lousy winter weather, which brought outages to some parts of Dominion’s service area. The company’s fourth-quarter earnings fell 53 percent to $165 million, or 28 cents a share, compared to $374 million, or 63 cents a share, for the same quarter last year. The earnings decrease also was the result of an after-tax charge to establish a reserve for a proposed electric rate settlement for Dominion’s Virginia electric utility.

The company reaffirmed its 2010 operating earnings guidance of $3.20 to $3.40 per share, but said it would be in a better position to provide details following a final order in the Virginia base rate proceeding. 


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