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Piedmont Natural Gas moving toward profitabilityMonday 9 September 2013 08:55 CEST
Piedmont Natural Gas announced results for its third quarter ended July 31, 2013. The seasonal loss was $2.3 million or $.03 per diluted share, compared to a loss of $4.6 million or $.06 per diluted share for the same period in 2012.
For the nine months ended July 31, 2013, net income was $139.4 million and diluted earnings per share were $1.86, compared with net income of $121.8 million and diluted earnings per share of $1.69 for the same period in 2012.
"We are pleased with our year to date performance in 2013. In particular, customer growth continues to show steady improvement with residential and commercial customer additions increasing 15 percent from last year. We now forecast gross customer growth for fiscal year 2013 between 1.0 percent and 1.5 percent," said chairman, president, and CEO, Thomas E. Skains.
Utility margin at Piedmont Natural Gas increased $10.5 million for the quarter and $33.8 million for the nine months ended July 31, 2013 compared to the same periods in 2012. The increase in margin is primarily attributable to customer growth and increased volume deliveries in the residential, commercial, and industrial markets due to colder winter weather, and increased transportation services in the power generation markets following the successful completion of the Sutton project.
Operations and maintenance (O&M) expenses increased $3.7 million and $5.7 million for the three- and nine-month periods ended July 31, 2013, respectively. The increase in O&M expenses for the quarter is due to increases in utilities, employee benefits, contract labor and other miscellaneous expenses.
The increase in O&M expenses for the nine month period is due to contract labor expenses, utilities, regulatory expenses and other miscellaneous expenses, partially offset by a decrease in employee benefits expense.
Pre-tax income from equity method investments increased $.4 million for the quarter and $2 million for the nine months primarily due to colder weather in the markets served by SouthStar and the first year of the Company's investment activity in the Constitution Pipeline project.