Energy holding company
) reported strong fourth quarter results, driven by improved
electric margins stemming from customer growth and rate
increases, partially offset by higher expenses.
Earnings per share came in at 79 cents, ahead of the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of 78 cents and the previous year's 76 cents.
The company's total operating revenue increased 8.4% year over
year to $1,123.0 million and was 4.3% above the Zacks Consensus
South Carolina Electric & Gas Company
Earnings from the segment, which is also SCANA's principal
subsidiary, were 54 cents per share, up 8.0% from the year-ago
level of 50 cents per share. The segment experienced higher
margins on the back of increases in base rate under the Base Load
Review Act and the Rate Stabilization Act, as well as improvement
in its client base. To some extent, these factors were offset by
higher expenses and share dilution.
As of Dec 31, 2012, natural gas and electric customers of
SCE&G inched up 1.8% and 0.9% from the year-ago period to
323,000 and 670,000, respectively.
The segment achieved earnings of 17 cents per share during the
quarter, flat from the year-ago period. Customer-fueled margin
growth was canceled by increase in operations and maintenance
At quarter end, PSNC Energy's customer base increased 2.0% year
over year to 497,000.
The segment - housing SCANA's retail natural gas marketing
business in Georgia - reported a profit of 6 cents per share,
down from the year-ago quarter level of 8 cents on the back of
Corporate and Other, Net:
The profit in this business segment doubled to 2 cents a share in
the quarter, helped by contribution from tower sales.
SCANA provided preliminary estimates of its 2013 earnings in the
range of $3.25-$3.45 per share, with an internal target of $3.35
Stocks to Consider
SCANA currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), implying that it
is expected to underperform the broader U.S. equity market over
the next one to three months.
Meanwhile, one can look at other electric utilities like
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P.
Otter Tail Corp.
Pike Electric Corp.
) as attractive investments. All these firms - sporting a Zacks
Rank #1 (Strong Buy) - offer value and are worth accumulating at
BROOKFIELD INFR (BIP): Free Stock Analysis
OTTER TAIL CORP (OTTR): Free Stock Analysis
PIKE ELECTRIC (PIKE): Free Stock Analysis
SCANA CORP (SCG): Free Stock Analysis Report
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