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News Article

Piedmont Natural Gas Reports Results For Fiscal Year 2013 Date Posted: 12/23/2013

CHARLOTTE, N.C., December 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) today announced results for its fiscal year ended October 31, 2013.  For the year, the Company reported net income of $134.4 million and diluted earnings per share of $1.78 compared with net income of $119.8 million and diluted earnings per share of $1.66 for 2012.

Commenting on the Company’s fiscal year 2013 results, Piedmont Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Thomas E. Skains said, “We are pleased with our solid financial and operating performance in 2013.  We executed a record $672 million capital expansion program in 2013 in support of customer growth, power generation delivery projects, system integrity programs and joint venture opportunities.  We completed our large Sutton Pipeline project providing natural gas delivery service to a new state-of-the-art gas-fired power generation facility near Wilmington, North Carolina, enhanced the safety, security and reliability of our pipeline systems, and added 14,274 new customers in our three-state service area, up 7.5 percent from our customer additions in 2012. In 2013, we also continued to improve our business processes, enhance our customer service, and implement sustainable business practices, all of which will serve us well in the years ahead.”

System throughput in 2013 totaled 387.6 million dekatherms, compared with 324.3 million dekatherms in 2012.  The increase was largely due to a 26 percent increase in volumes delivered to power generation customers, coupled with a 22 percent increase in volumes delivered to weather sensitive residential, commercial and industrial customers.  Overall, weather during 2013 was 2 percent colder than normal and 25 percent colder than 2012.

Utility margin increased $46 million from the prior year primarily due to increased transportation services from new contracts for power generation customers, customer growth and higher volumes from residential, commercial and industrial customers due to colder weather.  Operations and maintenance expenses increased $10.5 million from the previous year primarily due to higher costs incurred for contract labor related to process improvement and pipeline integrity programs, payroll, bad debt expense and regulatory amortizations, partially offset by a decrease in employee benefits costs.

Utility interest charges were $24.9 million in 2013 compared to $20.1 million in 2012. The increase in interest charges was due to increases in long-term debt, partially offset by an increase in capitalized interest income and lower balances of short-term debt at lower interest rates.

Pre-tax income from equity method investments was $26.1 million in 2013 compared with $23.9 million in 2012. The increase was primarily due to the first year of the Company’s investment activity in the Constitution Pipeline project and colder weather and new markets served by the Company’s SouthStar Energy joint venture.

FISCAL 2014 EARNINGS GUIDANCE REAFFIRMED
Piedmont Natural Gas reaffirms its fiscal year 2014 earnings guidance of $1.73 to $1.83 per diluted share issued on November 1, 2013. 

DIVIDEND
At its regular quarterly meeting of the Company’s Board of Directors on December 12, 2013, Piedmont Natural Gas announced the declaration of a quarterly dividend on Common Stock of $.31 per share, payable January 15, 2014, to holders of record at the close of business on December 24, 2013.

CONFERENCE CALL
In conjunction with this year-end earnings release, you are invited to listen to the conference call that will be broadcast live over the Internet on Friday, January 3, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Log on to the web at http://www.piedmontng.com and click on Investors, then on Presentations. The conference call will be archived on the Presentations page of the website within the Investor Relations section.

Piedmont Natural Gas

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary of Operations

 

 

 

 

 

 

(in thousands except per share amounts and degree days)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twelve Months Ended

 

October 31

 

% Increase

 

2013

2012

(Decrease)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating Revenues

 

$1,278,229

 

$1,122,780

 

14%

Cost of Gas

 

656,739

 

547,334

 

20%

Margin

 

621,490

 

575,446

 

8%

Operations and Maintenance Expenses

 

253,120

 

242,599

 

4%

Depreciation

 

112,207

 

103,192

 

9%

General Taxes

 

34,635

 

34,831

 

(1)%

Utility Income Taxes

 

77,334

 

69,101

 

12%

Operating Income

 

144,194

 

125,723

 

15%

Other Income (Expense), net

 

15,161

 

14,221

 

7%

Utility Interest Charges

 

24,938

 

20,097

 

24%

Net Income

 

134,417

 

119,847

 

12%

Average Shares of Common Stock:

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Basic

 

74,884

 

71,977

 

 4%

     Diluted

 

75,333

 

72,278

 

4%

Earnings Per Share of Common Stock:

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Basic

 

$1.80

 

$1.67

 

8%

     Diluted

 

$1.78

 

$1.66

 

7%

System Throughput - Dekatherms

 

387,600

 

324,300

 

20%

Gas Customers Billed in October

 

980

 

969

 

1%

System Average Degree Days - Actual

 

3,336

 

2,668

 

25%

System Average Degree Days - Normal

 

3,276

 

3,310

 

(1)%

Percent Normal Degree Days

 

102%

 

81%

 

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. 

Thewords "expect,"  "believe," "project," "anticipate," "intend," "should," "could,"  "assume," "can," "estimate," "forecast," "future," "indicate," "outlook," "plan," "predict," "seek," "target," "would," “guidance,” 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 customers in portions of North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, including customers served by municipalities who are wholesale customers. Our subsidiaries are invested in joint venture, energy-related businesses, including unregulated retail natural gas marketing, regulated interstate natural gas transportation and storage, and regulated intrastate natural gas transportation businesses. More information about Piedmont Natural Gas is available on the Internet at http://www.piedmontng.com/.

CONTACT:  Investor Relations, Nick Giaimo, +1-704-731-4952,
nick.giaimo@piedmontng.com

 

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