) announced third-quarter 2013 adjusted earnings of 69 cents per
share, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5.5%. Reported
earnings edged down 1.4% year over year due to higher operating
expenses and an increase in shares outstanding.
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On a GAAP basis, the company reported earnings of 66 cents per
share, flat with the year-ago figure. The difference between GAAP
and pro forma earnings was due to an after-tax integration
charges of 3 cents associated with the NSTAR merger.
Northeast Utilities' operating revenues of $1,892.6 million
lagged behind the Zacks Consensus Estimate by $1.4 million.
Quarterly revenues edged up 1.7% year over year due to an
improvement in retail natural gas distribution volumes.
The company's earnings from
The Connecticut Light and Power Company
segments decreased 17.6% and 11.7% respectively, year over year.
Natural Gas Distribution
's loss more than doubled from the year-ago quarter.
The negatives were partially offset by an improvement in earnings
from the company's
Electric Distribution and Generation
(up 4.1% year over year),
Public Service Company of New Hampshire
Massachusetts Electric Company
(up 6.4%) and
NU Parent and Other Businesses
(up 41.9%) divisions. In addition,
reported flat results in the quarter.
Northeast Utilities' total operating expenses climbed 3.1% year
over year, on the back of higher purchased power, fuel and
transmission costs, and depreciation expenses.
An increase in operating revenues less than offset the rise in
total operating expenses, thereby resulting in an operating
income of $399.3 million, down 3.3% year over year.
In the quarter under review, Northeast Utilities' overall retail
electricity distribution volume dropped 1.6% year over year to
15,247 Gigawatt hours. The company's natural gas distribution
volume was 11,173 million cubic feet, up 4.5% year over year.
As of Sep 30, 2013, Northeast Utilities had cash balance of $57.9
million compared with $45.7 million as of Dec 31, 2012.
Long-term debt as of Sep 30, 2013 was $7,444.2 million versus
$7,200.2 million as of Dec 31, 2012.
Net cash flows provided by operating activities during the first
nine months of 2013 were $1,177 million, significantly higher
than $796 million reported in the year-ago comparable period.
In the first nine months of 2013, the company invested $1,073.8
million under the capital expenditure program.
Northeast Utilities affirmed its full-year 2013 earnings guidance
in the range of $2.45 - $2.60 per share.
Other Company Releases
American Electric Power Company Inc.
) reported third-quarter operating earnings of $1.10 per share,
beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.08 by 1.9%.
) posted operational earnings of $2.41 per share, surpassing the
Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.29 by 5.2%.
) announced third-quarter 2013 pro forma earnings of 78 cents per
share, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 12 cents.
Although, Northeast Utilities' top and bottom line missed the
Zacks Consensus Estimate due to increased operating expenses, the
company intends to utilize cost control measures in the near
term. These initiatives will likely enable the company to improve
its future margins.
Despite NSTAR Electric division's flat performance, the
NSTAR-merger provided significant upside to Northeast Utilities'
year-to-date results in terms of improvement in NSTAR Gas's
performance. We expect the merger to continue to help the company
to improve its scale of operations, thereby enabling them to
serve more number of customers going forward.
Northeast Utilities' Greater Springfield Reliability project will
likely contribute significantly in 2013 as it will be online by
Northeast Utilities currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).