Dominion’s first-quarter earnings exceed estimates

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Dominion (NYSE:D). Richmond: First quarter results

The take: Dominion reported earnings in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for the three months ending March 31 of $379 million (65 cents per share) which compared with earnings of $495 million, or 86 cents per share, for the first quarter of 2013.

The Richmond-based company, however, uses operating earnings as its primary performance measurement, with these earnings also used internally for budgeting, reporting to the board of directors and other purposes.
Those numbers were more favorable for the first quarter of 2014. The company announced operating earnings of $607 million, or $1.04 per share, compared to operating earnings of $476 million, 83 cents per share, for the same time last year.

The company’s take: Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and chief executive officer:
"Our first-quarter results came in above our guidance range of $0.85 to $1.00 per share. While favorable weather in our electric service territory was a benefit of about 5 cents per share, we are pleased that other factors, including improved merchant generation margins, higher ancillary service revenues and lower operating expenses, produced results that were above expectations.

"During the quarter we also continued to move forward with our infrastructure growth plan. We received a notice of schedule from FERC for our Cove Point Liquefaction project and, pending receipt of regulatory approvals and permits, expect to commence construction later this year. We also commenced a non-binding open season for the Dominion Southeast Reliability Project, a new pipeline extending from the Marcellus and Utica Shale production regions to markets in Virginia and North Carolina.

"Construction of the Warren County Power Station and Brunswick County Power Station continues on time and on budget, and we announced the acquisition of six solar projects, totaling 139 megawatts, during the quarter."

The look ahead: Dominion expects second-quarter 2014 operating earnings in the range of 55 cents to 65 cents per share, compared with second-quarter 2013 operating earnings of 62 cents per share.
 For fiscal 2014, it reaffirmed its operating earnings guidance of $3.35 to $3.65 per share.

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