) announced first-quarter 2013 pro forma earnings of 73 cents per
share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 8 cents and
year-ago level by 30.4%.
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Improvement in earnings was primarily driven by 72.6%, 13.4%,
59%, 36.2%, 31% and 194.6% year-over-year rises in
Electric Distribution and Generation
Connecticut Light and
Public Service Company of New Hampshire
Western Massachusetts Electric Company
Natural Gas Distribution
segments' earnings, respectively. In addition,
NU parent and other businesses
also contributed significantly.
On a GAAP basis, the company reported earnings of 72 cents per
share versus 56 cents per share a year ago. The difference
between GAAP and pro forma earnings was due to a penny cost
associated with the NSTAR merger.
The company's revenues of $1,995 million beat the Zacks Consensus
Estimate by $88 million. Quarterly revenues increased 81.4% year
over year owing to favorable performance from all the segments.
First Quarter Operational Highlights
Northeast Utilities' overall retail electric sales increased 3.2%
year over year to 13,796 Gigawatt hours. The company's natural
gas sales were 39,422 million cubic feet, up 21.8% year over
Northeast Utilities' total operating expenses increased 78.1%
year over year to $1.6 billion primarily due to higher purchased
power, fuel and transmission costs, operations and maintenance
costs as well as depreciation expenses. In addition, the
company's spending under its Energy Efficiency Programs was also
responsible for this higher expense.
As of Mar 31, 2013, Northeast Utilities had cash balance of $60.8
million compared with $45.7 million as of Dec 31, 2012.
Long-term debt as of Mar 31, 2013 was $7.0 billion versus $7.2
billion as of Dec 31, 2012.
Net cash provided by operating activities during the first three
months of 2013 was $473.1 million, significantly higher than $8.8
million in the year-ago comparable period.
Capital expenditures increased to $389 million from $304.3
million a year ago.
Northeast Utilities reaffirmed its full-year 2013 earnings
guidance in the range of $2.40 to $2.60 per share.
Other Utility Company Releases
) announced first quarter operating earnings of 70 cents per
share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2 cents.
) reported first quarter operational earnings of 94 cents per
share that came at par with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.
American Electric Power Co. Inc.
) reported first quarter earnings of 80 cents per share that were
in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.
In first-quarter 2013, Northeast Utilities experienced positive
impacts from its recently completed NSTAR-merger. Both NSTAR
Electric as well as NSTAR Gas Company performed well. We believe
this merger continues to aid the company to increase its scale of
operations and serve a wider customer base in the future.
In addition, the company expects its Greater Springfield
Reliability project to contribute significantly in 2013 as it
will be online by this year. Western Massachusetts Electric
Company's improvement in earnings primarily generated from this
project as its 345 kilovolt (kV) portion energized in the first
However, over dependence on transmission and distribution
businesses, and stringent regulations, may to some extent
restrict the company's future performance.
Hartford, Conn. and Boston, Mass.-based Northeast Utilities
provides energy delivery services to residential, commercial and
industrial customers in Connecticut, New Hampshire and
Massachusetts. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #2