October 14, 2002
RICHMOND, Va. – Dominion (NYSE: D) announced today unaudited consolidated operating earnings for the third quarter ended September 30, 2002, of $430 million ($1.54 per share), compared with operating earnings of $344 million ($1.37 per share) for the same period in 2001. Third quarter 2002 and 2001 reported earnings were the same as operating earnings.
Thos. E. Capps, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said:
"Our third-quarter results were very strong, especially under these very difficult market conditions. If not for the anticipated dilution from the stock offering, we would be in solid position to meet our previously stated earnings guidance of $4.90 to $4.95 per share for the full year."
In September, the company notified the investment community of its intentions to issue additional equity to strengthen the balance sheet. Last week the company reiterated these plans and said it would offer approximately $1 billion in equity in the near future.
Updated commodity hedge position and reaffirmation of dividend
The company has hedged about 90 percent of 2002 oil and gas production, 75 percent of 2003 production, and 50 percent of 2004 production. The company has hedged about 90 percent of its power generation portfolio for 2002 and 2003 and about 85 percent for 2004.
Capps said: "With our earnings largely derived from tariff-based or hedged revenue sources, our earnings and cash flow are very stable. Accordingly, we are once again reaffirming our $2.58 per share dividend. We expect to earn $4.80 to $4.90 per share this year and $4.60 to $4.80 per share in 2003. After 2003, we expect 5 to 7 percent average annual earnings growth."
Earnings breakdown by operating segment
Dominion Energy contributed $273 million (98 cents per share) to third-quarter 2002 earnings compared to $288 million ($1.15 per share) in the third quarter of 2001. The decrease in Dominion Energy's third-quarter 2002 earnings resulted from a lower contribution from Dominion Energy Clearinghouse, additional nuclear outage costs and share dilution which were partially offset by customer growth, warmer weather in the electric franchise area and the recognition of a state tax benefit.
Dominion Delivery earned $111 million (40 cents per share) in its third quarter compared to $68 million (27 cents per share) for the same period in 2001. The increase in Dominion Delivery's third-quarter earnings is primarily attributable to higher than normal temperatures, customer growth, reduced expenses and the recognition of a state tax benefit partially offset by share dilution and other factors.
Dominion Exploration & Production (E&P) contributed $90 million (32 cents per share) to third-quarter 2002 earnings, up from $78 million (31 cents per share) in the third quarter of 2001. The change in Dominion E&P's third-quarter earnings is primarily attributable to higher production, which was offset by lower average realized prices, share dilution and other factors.
The corporate segment, including Dominion Capital, posted net expenses of $44 million (16 cents per share) for the quarter, compared to net expenses of $90 million (36 cents per share) in the third quarter of 2001. The decrease in the corporate segment's net expenses is attributable to the elimination of goodwill amortization, the recognition of a state tax benefit and improved earnings of Dominion Capital.
Conference call for investors / media
Dominion will host a conference call for investors tomorrow at 8 a.m. ET during which Dominion management will review both third-quarter 2002 earnings and the outlook for the remainder of 2002 and full year 2003. Members of the media are also invited to listen.
Domestic investors who wish to participate in the conference call should dial 877-241-5946. International investors should call 706-643-0540. Participants should dial in 5 to 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time.
A replay of the conference call will be available from approximately 1 p.m. ET October 15 through 11 p.m. ET October 29. Domestic investors may access the recording by dialing 800-642-1687. International callers should dial 706-645-9291 to access the recording. The access code for the replay is 6131607.
Dominion has a diversified and integrated energy portfolio consisting of about 24,000-megawatts of generation, 5.7 trillion cubic feet equivalent of natural gas reserves, nearly 7,700 miles of natural gas transmission pipeline and the nation's largest underground natural gas storage system with more than 960 billion cubic feet of storage capacity. Dominion also serves over 3.8 million franchise natural gas and electric customers in five states. In addition, Dominion owns a managing equity interest in Dominion Fiber Ventures, LLC, owner of Dominion Telecom. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's web site at www.dom.com.
This release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Discussion of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from management's projections, forecasts, estimates and expectations may include factors that are beyond the company's ability to control or estimate precisely, such as estimates of future market conditions, estimates of proved and unproved reserves and the behavior of other market participants. Other factors include, but are not limited to, weather conditions, economic conditions in the company's service area, fluctuations in energy-related commodity prices, changes to rating agency requirements, changing financial accounting standards, trading counterparty credit risks, risks related to energy trading and marketing, risks associated with successfully executing the telecommunications business plan and other uncertainties. Other risk factors are detailed from time to time in the company's Securities & Exchange Commission filings.