Energy holding company, SCANA Corp. ( SCG ), reported fourth-quarter 2014 earnings per share of 73 cents, which missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. Results were flat year over year.
Full-year 2014 earnings increased 11.5% year over year to $3.79 per share and also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3.76.
The company's quarterly operating revenues increased 8.7% year over year to $1,214.0 million and were also above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,046.0 million.
Full-year revenues came in at $4,951.0 million, up 10.1% on an annualized basis. The results also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4,740.0 million.
South Carolina Electric & Gas Company ("SCE&G"): Quarterly earnings from this segment -SCANA's principal subsidiary - were 53 cents per share, up from the year-ago level of 51 cents. This was due to improvement in electric margins, Base Load Review Act rate increases, customer growth as well as higher gas margins. The increase, however, was partially offset by unfavorable weather.
As of Dec 31, 2014, natural gas and electric customers of SCE&G increased 2.8% and 1.4% from a year ago to 338,000 and 688,000, respectively.
PSNC Energy : This segment recorded earnings of 16 cents per share in line with the year-ago quarter. As of Dec 31, 2014, PSNC Energy's customer base widened 2.5% year over year to 521,000.
SCANA Energy-Georgia : The segment - comprising SCANA's retail natural gas marketing business in Georgia - posted earnings of 7 cents per share compared with 6 cents in the year-ago quarter.
Corporate and Other, Net : This business segment reported a loss of 3 cents in the reported quarter against the breakeven reported in the year-ago quarter.
SCANA estimates full-year 2015 earnings in the range of $3.60-$3.80 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.
However, 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.
SCANA currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked oil and gas stocks like InterOil Corp. ( IOC ), Golar Energy Partners LP ( GMLP ) and Hallador Energy Co. ( HNRG ) hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.