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Issues 2013 Earnings Guidance
-- 2012 Adjusted (Non-GAAP) EPS Were $2.42
-- 2012 GAAP Loss per Share Was $4.01, Reflecting Asset Impairments and Other Charges
-- 2013 GAAP and Adjusted EPS Guidance Range Established at $2.00 to $2.20
ST. LOUIS, Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE) today announced a 2012 net loss in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) of $974 million, or $4.01 per share, compared to 2011 GAAP net income of $519 million, or $2.15 per share. The 2012 GAAP net loss and 2011 GAAP net income included aftertax impairments and other charges of $1.557 billion and $77 million, respectively. Excluding these charges and certain other items discussed below, Ameren recorded 2012 adjusted, (non-GAAP) net income of $586 million, or $2.42 per share, compared to 2011 adjusted (non-GAAP) net income of $619 million, or $2.56 per share.
The decrease in 2012 adjusted (non-GAAP) earnings, compared to 2011 adjusted (non-GAAP) earnings, reflected a decline in Ameren Illinois' earnings resulting from a lower allowed return on equity (ROE), due to low Treasury bond yields, and required nonrecoverable program donations, among other things, related to 2012 implementation of formula ratemaking for electric delivery service. In addition, natural gas sales volumes declined reflecting warmer 2012 winter temperatures. Merchant generation segment earnings also declined reflecting lower power prices and higher fuel costs. The earnings declines from these two business segments were partially offset by increased Ameren Missouri earnings due primarily to the full year effect of a 2011 electric rate increase as well as lower operations and maintenance expense, reflecting the absence of a refueling outage at the Callaway Nuclear Energy Center in 2012 and reduced storm-related costs. Ameren Missouri's 2012 earnings, compared to 2011 earnings, also benefited from a favorable 2012 Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) order related to a disputed power purchase agreement that expired in 2009 and the absence of a 2011 charge to earnings related to the fuel adjustment clause. These positive factors were partially offset, at Ameren Missouri, by higher depreciation expense, a higher effective income tax rate and lower electric sales volumes largely due to warmer 2012 winter temperatures.
"Adjusted earnings for 2012 were in line with both our narrowed November and our initial year-ago guidance ranges," said Thomas R. Voss, chairman, president and CEO of Ameren Corporation. "I am proud of several significant accomplishments in 2012. These include record safety metrics as well as strong electric distribution system reliability and operating performance at our energy centers. In addition, we advanced our plans to invest in electric transmission projects, including obtaining additional FERC approvals for constructive rate treatments for our investments. Further, we received a needed electric rate increase in Missouri that became effective in early 2013.
"Last year also had its share of challenges, including disappointing decisions by the Illinois Commerce Commission in our electric delivery formula rate cases — decisions we are working to improve through legislation and the courts — and continued downward pressure on already low forward market prices for power," Voss added. "The latter contributed to our December announcement of our intent to exit the merchant generation business and a related noncash impairment charge. Exiting merchant generation will result in Ameren's businesses being solely rate-regulated utilities with solid growth prospects as we continue to allocate capital to jurisdictions that have modernized their regulatory framework in support of energy infrastructure investments. In addition, we are seeking to enhance the regulatory framework in Missouri to better support investment in our energy infrastructure. We strongly believe that such investment will result in long-term benefits for our customers and create jobs to support our local economy."
For the fourth quarter of 2012, Ameren recorded a GAAP net loss of $1.156 billion, or $4.76 per share, compared to GAAP net income of $25 million, or 10 cents per share, for the fourth quarter of 2011. Excluding certain items discussed below, Ameren recorded adjusted (non-GAAP) net income of $33 million, or 14 cents per share, for the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to adjusted (non-GAAP) net income of $34 million, or 14 cents per share, for the fourth quarter of 2011.
The decrease in adjusted (non-GAAP) earnings for the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to adjusted (non-GAAP) earnings for the fourth quarter of 2011, reflected a decline in Ameren Illinois' earnings, largely due to a lower allowed ROE for electric delivery service, and a decline in merchant generation segment earnings, primarily reflecting lower power prices. These factors were largely offset by increased Ameren Missouri earnings due to the absence of a refueling outage at the Callaway Nuclear Energy Center in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to the scheduled refueling outage that occurred during the fourth quarter of 2011.
The following items were excluded from fourth quarter and full-year 2012 and 2011 adjusted (non-GAAP) earnings, as applicable:
•Asset impairments and other charges, which decreased net income by $1.180 billion and $1.557 billion in the fourth quarter and full year of 2012, respectively, and $77 million in the full year of 2011. The 2012 charges were a fourth quarter noncash asset impairment charge resulting from Ameren's December 2012 announcement that it intends to, and it is probable that it will, exit its merchant generation business segment before the end of the previously estimated useful lives of that business segment's long-lived assets, as well as a first quarter noncash impairment related to the Duck Creek Energy Center. The 2011 charges were the result of the Missouri Public Service Commission's disallowance of costs of enhancements related to the rebuilding of the Taum Sauk Energy Center and the decision to cease operations at the merchant generation business segment's Meredosia and Hutsonville energy centers;
•Employee separation charges related to a voluntary retirement offer, which decreased net income by $17 million in both the fourth quarter and full year of 2011; and
•The net effect of unrealized mark-to-market activity, which decreased net income by $9 million and $3 million in the fourth quarter and full year of 2012, respectively, and increased net income by $8 million and decreased net income by $6 million in the fourth quarter and full year of 2011, respectively.
A reconciliation of GAAP to adjusted (non-GAAP) earnings per share is as follows: