AGL Resources Reports Strong Second-Quarter Results
Key Drivers are Accelerated Integration of VNG and Strong Performances From Utility and Energy Services Businesses
Marking yet another quarter of sustained growth, AGL Resources
The key drivers of earnings growth for the second quarter include continued operational efficiencies in the company's utility operations; strong customer growth coupled with the effects of colder weather in the company's retail marketing unit; and solid performance in the company's wholesale energy trading activities. The company's utility performance included lower-than-anticipated operation and maintenance expenses at Virginia Natural Gas, primarily driven by the accelerated integration of VNG (acquired in October 2000) into AGL Resources' utility operations.
"Our performance shows we are hitting our growth targets and delivering the results we have promised our investors," said Paula G. Rosput, AGL Resources President and Chief Executive Officer. "We're making tremendous progress in executing our strategy and distinguishing ourselves from our traditional peer group. We're just not the same old gas distributor."
During the second quarter of fiscal 2001, the company generated net income from operations of $45.2 million, compared with $22.7 million for the same period in fiscal 2000. Operating revenues for the quarter were $350.6 million in fiscal 2001, compared with $160.1 million in fiscal 2000.
"We have now exceeded consensus earnings expectations for six straight quarters," said Donald P. Weinstein, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. "Our excellent financial performance this quarter is further proof that we are consistently improving our operations and building momentum around our growth strategy."
For the six months ended March 31, 2001, core earnings were $67.7 million, or $1.25 per share, excluding one-time items, a 70 percent increase over the $39.8 million, or $0.71 per share, the company earned for the same period last year. Including the effects of the one-time gain in the second quarter 2001, net income was $1.38 per share (basic) for the six months ended March 31, 2001, compared with $0.71 per share for the same period last fiscal year. Operating revenues for the six months ended March 31, 2001, were $645.4 million, compared with $342.4 million for the same period last fiscal year.
Looking to the future, Ms. Rosput said: "As we have consistently communicated to the investment community, we have a sound growth strategy aimed at delivering double-digit earnings growth for this fiscal year. Given the year-to-date performance of our business units in executing this strategy, we are comfortable with the upper range of current analysts' estimates of $1.40 to $1.46 per share for fiscal 2001, exclusive of weather impacts and one-time items. We obviously will keep you informed of any changes to this earnings guidance throughout the remainder of this year."
AGL Resources Inc. is a regional holding company for energy and infrastructure related businesses in the Southeast. The company is the second-largest natural gas-only distribution company in the United States and serves more than 1.8 million customers throughout Georgia; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and southeastern Virginia. AGL Resources also is engaged through subsidiaries and partnerships in other businesses, including telecommunications, retail energy marketing, wholesale energy services, and wholesale and retail propane sales. More information about the company is available on the Internet at http://www.aglresources.com/ .
This press release contains forward-looking statements. AGL Resources wishes to caution readers that the assumptions, which form the basis for the forward-looking statements, include many factors that are beyond AGL Resources' ability to control or estimate precisely. Those factors include, but are not limited to, the following: changes in the price and demand for natural gas; the impact of changes in weather; the impact of changes in state and federal legislation and regulation on the company and the natural gas industry; the effects of competition, particularly in markets where prices and providers historically have been regulated; financial market conditions; and other risks described in our documents on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Earnings Conference Call Webcast: The AGL Resources 2001 Second Quarter Earnings Conference Call, scheduled for Wednesday, April 25, at 8:30 a.m. (EDT), can be accessed via the AGL Resources website at http://www.aglresources.com/ . The call will address the company's financial results for the second quarter and first six months of fiscal 2001, as well as the outlook for the full fiscal year.
AGL RESOURCES INC. AND SUBSIDIARY COMPANIES CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL INFORMATION March 31, 2001 (Unaudited) In millions, except per share data 3 Months Ended 6 Months Ended March 31, March 31, 2001 2000 2001 2000 Operating Revenues $350.6 $160.1 $645.4 $342.4 Cost of Sales 174.4 30.7 305.1 85.3 Operating Margin 176.2 129.4 340.3 257.1 Other Operating Expenses 111.6 91.9 220.4 186.1 Operating Income 64.6 37.5 119.9 71.0 Other Income 42.2 12.4 47.4 19.3 Income before Interest and Income Taxes 106.8 49.9 167.3 90.3 Interest Expense and Preferred Dividends Interest Expense 23.9 12.4 47.1 24.6 Dividends on Preferred Stock of Sub. 1.6 1.6 3.1 3.1 Total Interest Expense and Preferred Div. 25.5 14.0 50.2 27.7 Income Before Income Taxes 81.3 35.9 117.1 62.6 Income Taxes 29.0 13.2 42.3 22.8 Net Income $52.3 $22.7 $74.8 $39.8 Earnings Per Share Basic $0.96 $0.41 $1.38 $0.71 Diluted $0.96 $0.41 $1.37 $0.71 Avg. Number of Shares Outstanding Basic 54.3 55.5 54.2 56.2 Diluted 54.6 55.5 54.5 56.2
SOURCE: AGL Resources
Contact: Investors, Steve Cave, Director, Investor Relations,