Energy holding company,
) reported lukewarm fourth-quarter 2013 results. The decrease was
brought about by increases in operations and maintenance
expenses, property taxes, depreciation and share dilution. This
was, however, only partially offset by improved electric margins
from customer growth and rate base increases.
Earnings per share came in at 73 cents, below the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of 77 cents and missing the year-ago quarter's figure of
Full-year 2013 earnings increased 7.6% year over year to $3.39
per share and lagged the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.40.
The company's quarterly operating revenue decreased 0.5% year
over year to $1,117.0 million and also came in below the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of $1,197.0 million.
Full-year 2013 revenue came in at $4,495.0 million, up 7.6% on an
annualized basis. The results were also below the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of $4,596.0 million.
South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G): Quarterly
earnings from this segment, SCANA's principal subsidiary, were 51
cents per share, down from the year-ago level of 54 cents per
share. This was due to increases in operating and maintenance
expenses. The decrease was partially offset by higher margins
from base rate increases, along with customer additions.
As of Dec 31, 2013, natural gas and electric customers of
SCE&G increased 2.1% and 1.2% from a year ago to 325,000 and
PSNC Energy: This segment recorded earnings of 16 cents per share
versus 17 cents in the year-ago quarter. As of Dec 31, 2013, PSNC
Energy's customer base widened 2.3% year over year to 500,000.
SCANA Energy-Georgia: The segment - comprising SCANA's retail
natural gas marketing business in Georgia - posted earnings of 6
cents per share, flat year over year.
Corporate and Other, Net: This business segment was at a
break-even point in the reported quarter versus earnings of 2
cents per share in the year-ago period.
SCANA affirmed its full-year 2014 earnings guidance range of
$3.45-$3.65 per share.
We expect SCANA to benefit from the new electric generation
plants within its service territory and nuclear expansion
projects, going forward. The company is a stable, relatively
strong and regulated integrated electric utility, supported by
favorable regional demographics and electric utility rate.
On the flip side, we are apprehensive of the company's
sensitivity to changes in coal, gas, oil and other commodity
prices. Construction costs and delays could affect the timing of
rate base growth, earnings, cash flow and balance sheet quality.
CMS ENERGY (CMS): Free Stock Analysis Report
CPFL ENERGI-ADR (CPL): Free Stock Analysis
DTE ENERGY CO (DTE): Free Stock Analysis
SCANA CORP (SCG): Free Stock Analysis Report
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SCANA currently holds a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), implying that it is
expected to underperform in the broader U.S. equity market over
the next one to three months.
Meanwhile, one can look at better-ranked electric utilities like
CMS Energy Corp.
CPFL Energia S.A.
DTE Energy Company
) as attractive investments, all of which sport a Zacks Rank #2