Energy services holding company
) reported weak fourth-quarter 2012 results, owing to higher
operating costs partially offset by solid performance by the
The company announced earnings per share (excluding
merger-related expenses) of 91 cents, showing a decrease from 94
cents earned in the comparable quarter last year. The results
also failed to meet the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.01.
Total operating revenues of $1,218.0 million, fell shy of the
Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,386.0 million but were up from the
year-ago level of $790.0 million.
For its fiscal year ended Dec 31, 2012, AGL reported per share
adjusted profits of $2.46, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate
of $2.45 but deteriorating from the 2011 adjusted earnings of
$2.92 per share. Operating revenues of $3,922.0 million were
67.7% above the prior year level but missed the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of $4,075.0 million.
: This segment, comprising seven utilities, witnessed earnings
before interest and taxes (EBIT) of $158.0 million, higher than
$127.0 million obtained in the fourth quarter of 2011. The result
was positively influenced by contributions from the inclusion of
Nicor Gas and enhanced revenues from regulatory infrastructure
: Comprising SouthStar Energy Services, Nicor Services, Nicor
Solutions and Nicor Advanced Energy, this segment achieved an
EBIT of $37.0 million against a profit of $29.0 million in the
year-earlier period. The quarter's performance benefited from the
addition of a retail business unit from Nicor along with lower
transportation and gas costs.
: This segment, which includes Sequent Energy Management,
reported a profit of $10.0 million, lower than $14.0 million
recorded in the prior-year quarter. Hedge losses affected the
segments' performance partially offset by better commercial
: This segment, mainly comprising natural gas storage facilities
reported EBIT of $4.0 million, higher than $3.0 million obtained
during the fourth quarter of 2011.
: This segment generated profits of $9.0 million in the reported
AGL Resources increased its quarterly common stock dividend by
more than 2% to 47 cents per share ($1.88 per share annualized).
The new dividend will be paid on Mar 1, 2013 to shareholders of
record as of Feb 15.
Management guided earnings of $2.50 to $2.70 per share for 2013.
But excluding the Wholesale Services segment, the same is
expected in the range of $2.40 to $2.50 per share.
AGL Resources is one of the largest electric utility holding
companies in the U.S., and is the premier energy company serving
the eastern half of the country. It remains a leader in power
plant productivity, cost control (operating and construction) and
new technology research.
However, operating results of the company are affected by weather
conditions and may vary on a seasonal and quarterly basis.
Natural gas distribution is usually a temperature-sensitive
business with about half of all deliveries used for space
Usually, almost 75% of the deliveries and sales occur during
the six-month period of October through March. Consequently,
milder-than-normal weather conditions in the future could
adversely affect the company's operating results, cash flow and
CLEAN EGY FUELS (CLNE): Free Stock Analysis
(CPYYY): ETF Research Reports
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SEMPRA ENERGY (SRE): Free Stock Analysis
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The company currently retains a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell),
implying that it is expected to underperform the broader U.S.
equity market over the next one to three months.
However, there are other natural gas distributors in the energy
sector that are expected to perform well in the coming one to
three months. These include
Clean Energy Fuels Inc
). All three have Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).