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Piedmont Natural Gas Reports First Quarter 2013 Results

           Piedmont Natural Gas Reports First Quarter 2013 Results

PR Newswire

CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 6, 2013

CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE:
PNY) today announced results for its first fiscal quarter ended January 31,
2013. For the quarter, the Company reported net income of $85.9 million, or
$1.18 per diluted share, compared to net income of $76.2 million, or $1.05 per
diluted share for the same period in 2012.

Margin for the quarter was $231.6 million, an increase of $11.4 million from
the prior year's quarter. The increase in margin is primarily attributable to
customer growth and increased volume deliveries in the residential,
commercial, and industrial markets due to 8 percent colder weather, increased
transportation services in the power generation markets and increased
secondary market activity.

Piedmont's Chairman, President and CEO, Thomas E. Skains, commented on the
results, "We are pleased with our performance during the first quarter of
fiscal year 2013. Customer additions throughout our three-state service area
improved by 9 percent over the first quarter of last year. We continue to see
positive signs of recovery and growth in our core markets. We are also well
on track to execute our 2013 capital expansion program by completing our
Sutton power generation delivery project on schedule by June 2013 and making
good progress on our system integrity and reliability programs. Our strong
first quarter performance is evidence of the value our customers place on
natural gas to meet their energy needs in an affordable, clean and reliable
fashion."

Operations and maintenance expenses totaled $55.9 million during the first
quarter of 2013, a decrease of $2.5 million from the first quarter of 2012.
The decrease in O&M expenses for the quarter is primarily due to decreases in
employee benefit expenses, partially offset by increases in contract labor
expenses related to pipeline integrity and maintenance programs.

Pre-tax income from Piedmont's joint ventures was up 14 percent compared to
the same period in 2012 due to improved performance at SouthStar Energy and
Cardinal Pipeline.

Utility interest charges for the quarter were $4.5 million compared to $7.2
million for the same period in 2012. The decrease is primarily due to an
increase in AFUDC as a result of increased project construction expenditures,
and decreases in interest expense resulting from increased amounts due from
customers and lower short-term interest expense, partially offset by an
increase in interest expense on long-term debt primarily due to higher amounts
outstanding in 2013.

DIVIDEND INCREASED FOR THIRTY-FIFTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR

As previously announced, the Board of Directors on March 6 approved an
increase in the Company's quarterly dividend on Common Stock. The new
quarterly dividend of 31 cents per share will be payable on April 15, 2013 to
holders of record at the close of business on March 25, 2013.

FISCAL 2013 EARNINGS GUIDANCE REAFFIRMED

Piedmont Natural Gas reaffirms its fiscal year 2013 earnings guidance of $1.67
to $1.77 per diluted share.

CONFERENCE CALL

In conjunction with the first-quarter earnings release, you are invited to
listen to the conference call that will broadcast live over the Internet on
Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, hosted by Chairman,
President and CEO Thomas E. Skains. Log onto the web at www.piedmontng.com and
click on Investor Relations, then on Presentations. The conference call will
be archived on the Presentation page of the website within the Investor
Relations section.

Summary of Operations
(in thousands except per share amounts and degree days)
Three Months Ended                   January 31             % Increase
                                     2013        2012       (Decrease)
                                     (Unaudited)
Operating Revenues                   $ 515,875   $ 471,840      9%
Cost of Gas                            284,252     251,603      13%
Margin                                 231,623     220,237      5%
Operations and Maintenance Expenses    55,882      58,397       (4%)
Depreciation                           26,701      26,178       2%
General Taxes                          9,528       8,622        11%
Utility Income Taxes                   53,299      47,221       13%
Operating Income                       86,213      79,819       8%
Other Income (Expense), net            4,167       3,614        15%
Utility Interest Charges               4,457       7,206        (38%)
Net Income                             85,923      76,227       13%
Average Shares of Common Stock:
Basic                                  72,356      72,126       -%
Diluted                                72,725      72,433       -%
Earning Per Share of Common Stock:
 Basic                            $ 1.19      $ 1.06         12%
Diluted                             $ 1.18      $ 1.05         12%
System Throughput — Dekatherms         107,948     90,965       19%
Gas Customers Billed in January        995         983          1%
System Average Degree Days — Actual    1,691       1,568        8%
System Average Degree Days — Normal    1,849       1,869        (1%)
Percent Normal Degree Days             91%         84%          n/a



Forward-Looking Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements. These statements are
based on management's current expectations and information currently available
and are believed to be reasonable and are made in good faith. However, the
forward-looking statements are subject to future events, risks, uncertainties
and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from
those projected in the statements. Factors that may make the actual results
differ from anticipated results include, but are not limited to, weather
conditions, rate of customer growth, the cost and availability of natural gas,
competition from other energy providers, new legislation and regulations and
application of existing laws and regulations, economic and capital market
conditions, the cost and availability of labor and materials and other
uncertainties, all of which are difficult to predict and some of which are
beyond our control. For these reasons, you should not place undue reliance on
these forward-looking statements when making investment decisions. The words
"expect," "believe," "project," "anticipate," "intend," "should," "could,"
"assume," "can," "estimate," "forecast," "future," "indicate," "outlook,"
"plan," "predict," "seek," "target," "would," and variations of such words and
similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements are only as of the date they are made and we do not
undertake any obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statement,
either as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. More
information about the risks and uncertainties relating to these
forward-looking statements may be found in Piedmont's latest Forms 10-K and
10-Q, which are available on the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov.

About Piedmont Natural Gas

Piedmont Natural Gas is an energy services company primarily engaged in the
distribution of natural gas to more than one million residential, commercial,
industrial and power generation utility customers in portions of North
Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, including 52,400 customers served by
municipalities who are wholesale customers. Our subsidiaries are invested in
joint venture, energy-related businesses, including unregulated retail natural
gas marketing, and regulated interstate natural gas transportation and storage
and intrastate natural gas transportation businesses. More information about
Piedmont Natural Gas is available on the Internet at
http://www.piedmontng.com/.

SOURCE Piedmont Natural Gas

Website: http://www.piedmontng.com
Contact: David L. Trusty, +1-704-731-4391, david.trusty@piedmontng.com, or
Investor Relations, Nicholas Giaimo, +1-704-731-4952,
nicholas.giaimo@piedmontng.com
 
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