CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Apr 25, 2013) - AltaGas Ltd. (AltaGas) (ALA.TO) (ALA-PA.TO) today reported normalized net income applicable to common shares was $55.5 million ($0.53 per share) for the three months ended March 31, 2013, compared to $40.1 million ($0.45 per share) for the same period 2012. Net income applicable to common shares reported was $49.0 million ($0.46 per share) for the three months ended March 31, 2013, compared to $41.3 million ($0.46 per share) for the same period 2012.
AltaGas also announced today that the Board of Directors has approved a dividend of $0.125 per common share for the May 2013 dividend, equivalent to $1.50 per common share on an annualized basis, an increase of 4.2 percent.
"We are pleased to report strong first quarter earnings driven by our diversified portfolio of energy infrastructure assets including our new utilities in the United States," said David Cornhill, Chairman and CEO of AltaGas. "The increase in our dividend is a reflection of the stable and predictable cash flow growth we are starting to realize from our recent growth and it is a key part of the overall value proposition that we offer our shareholders."
Normalized EBITDA increased 59 percent to $145.8 million for first quarter 2013 compared to $91.6 million in first quarter 2012. Normalized funds from operations increased 64 percent to $122.4 million ($1.16 per share) for first quarter 2013 compared to $74.7 million ($0.83 per share) for first quarter 2012.
Results in the first quarter were primarily driven by the August 30, 2012 acquisition of Semco Holding Corporation (SEMCO), natural gas utilities in Alaska and Michigan, which performed as expected on a weather normalized basis. Results from AltaGas' Utilities segment are seasonal in nature as natural gas distribution utilities earn most of their revenue in first and fourth quarters of the year as a result of delivering natural gas to customers during the heating season.
First quarter results also benefited from the addition of the Gordondale and Co-stream gas processing facilities, the Blair Creek expansion, the addition of new biomass and gas fired power generation assets and rate base growth at the Alberta and Nova Scotia utilities. These increases were partially offset by lower contribution from sale of NGLs, lower power prices realized in Alberta primarily due to an unplanned outage at Sundance 3, and lower power generated at the Bear Mountain wind park (Bear Mountain).
On January 28, 2013, AltaGas and Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. (Idemitsu) signed an agreement to form the AltaGas Idemitsu Joint Venture Limited Partnership (AltaGas Idemitsu LP). AltaGas Idemitsu LP plans to pursue opportunities to develop long term natural gas supply and sales arrangements to meet the growing demand for natural gas in Asia. AltaGas Idemitsu LP is undertaking feasibility studies for the development and construction of liquefaction facilities as part of the proposed project to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to markets in Asia. AltaGas Idemitsu LP also plans to pursue opportunities to develop a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG or propane) export business including logistics, plant refrigeration and storage facilities.
On March 25, 2013, AltaGas announced it has entered into a purchase and sale agreement to acquire Blythe Energy, LLC, which owns a 507 MW natural gas-fired combined cycle plant (Blythe Energy Center), associated major separate parts, and a related 230 kV 67-mile electric transmission line in Southern California for US$515 million. The acquisition is expected to close in second quarter 2013. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to earnings and cash flow per share in 2014, the first full year of ownership, and is expected to add approximately $50 million in incremental contracted EBITDA per year.
"We continue to grow and diversify our already strong portfolio of energy infrastructure assets," said Mr. Cornhill. "The acquisition of Blythe adds significant natural gas-fired power generation to our portfolio and provides another platform for growth to meet the increasing demand for clean energy."
Progress on the Northwest run-of-river projects, which include the Forrest Kerr, McLymont Creek and Volcano Creek generation facilities, remains ahead of schedule and on budget. Excavation of the power tunnel for the 195 MW Forrest Kerr project was completed on April 4, 2013. In-river work was completed as was the coffer dam disassembly. The weir has also now been commissioned. Powerhouse activities continue to outpace expectations and construction is expected to be completed in second quarter. The project is expected to be mechanically complete by the end of 2013, with commissioning to follow based on the availability of the Northwest Transmission Line (NTL) in May 2014. The in-service date for Forrest Kerr remains on target for mid-2014.
All material permits and licences are in place and construction has commenced on both the 66 MW McLymont Creek Project and 16 MW Volcano Creek Project. Construction of the McLymont access road and bridge work was completed in first quarter 2013. Clearing of the powerhouse site is complete and tunneling of the construction access tunnel has begun. Excavation of the Volcano Creek powerhouse, intake site and diversion are currently underway and anticipated to be completed by the end of third quarter 2013. The two projects are expected to be in service in mid-2015.
Monthly Common Share Dividend and Quarterly Preferred Share Dividend
- The Board approved a dividend of $0.125 per common share for the May 2013 dividend. The dividend will be paid on June 17, 2013, to holders of record on May 27, 2013, of common shares. The ex-dividend date is May 23, 2013. This dividend is an eligible dividend for Canadian income tax purposes;
- The Board approved a dividend of $0.3125 per share for the period commencing April 1, 2013, and ending June 30, 2013, on AltaGas' outstanding Series A Preferred Shares. The dividend will be paid on June 28, 2013 to shareholders of record on June 14, 2013. The ex-dividend date is June 12, 2013; and
- The Board also approved a dividend of US$0.275 per share for the period commencing April 1, 2013, and ending June 30, 2013, on AltaGas' outstanding Series C Preferred Shares. The dividend will be paid on June 28, 2013, to shareholders of record on June 14, 2013. The ex-dividend date is June 12, 2013.
CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL REVIEW
|(unaudited)||Three months ended |
|Normalized operating income(1)||109.1||69.5|
|Net income applicable to common shares||49.0||41.3|
|Normalized net income(1)||55.5||40.1|
|Total long-term liabilities||3,261.3||1,934.7|
|Net additions to property, plant and equipment||119.7||147.5|
|Normalized funds from operations(1)||122.4||74.7|
|Three months ended |
|($ per share, except shares outstanding)||2013||2012|
|Net income - basic||0.46||0.46|
|Net income - diluted||0.45||0.45|
|Normalized net income(1)||0.53||0.45|
|Normalized funds from operations(1)||1.16||0.83|
|Shares outstanding - basic (millions)|
|During the period(3)||105.7||89.5|
|End of period||106.1||89.8|
|(1)||Non-GAAP financial measure; see discussion in Non-GAAP Financial Measures section of the Q1 2013 MD&A.|
|(2)||Dividends declared of $0.115 commencing October 27, 2011 and $0.12 per common share per month commencing September 10, 2012.|
CONFERENCE CALL AND WEBCAST DETAILS:
AltaGas will hold a conference call today at 9:00 a.m. MT (11:00 a.m. ET) to discuss first quarter financial results, progress on construction projects and other corporate developments.
Members of the media, investment communities and other interested parties may dial (416) 340-2218 or call toll free at 1-866-226-1793. There is no passcode. Please note that the conference call will also be webcast. To listen, please go to http://www.altagas.ca/investors/presentations_and_events. The webcast will be archived for one year.
Shortly after the conclusion of the call, a replay will be available by dialing (905) 694-9451 or 1-800-408-3053. The passcode is 2174801. The replay expires at midnight (Eastern) on May 2, 2013.
This news release contains forward-looking statements. When used in this news release, the words "may", "would", "could", "will", "intend", "plan", "anticipate", "believe", "seek", "propose", "estimate", "expect", and similar expressions, as they relate to AltaGas or an affiliate of AltaGas, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. In particular, this news release contains forward-looking statements with respect to, among other things, business objectives, expected growth, results of operations, performance, business projects and opportunities and financial results. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements. Such statements reflect AltaGas' current views with respect to future events based on certain material factors and assumptions and are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, including without limitation, changes in market, competition, governmental or regulatory developments, general economic conditions and other factors set out in AltaGas' public disclosure documents. Many factors could cause AltaGas' actual results, performance or achievements to vary from those described in this news release, including without limitation those listed above. These factors should not be construed as exhaustive. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in this news release as intended, planned, anticipated, believed, sought, proposed, estimated or expected, and such forward-looking statements included in, or incorporated by reference in this news release, should not be unduly relied upon. Such statements speak only as of the date of this news release. AltaGas does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.