Dominion Energy Announces Third-Quarter 2018 Earnings, Additional Non-Core Asset Sale; Provides Atlantic Coast Pipeline & Supply Header Updates
- Third-quarter 2018 reported earnings of $1.30 per share; operating earnings of $1.15 per share
- Narrows full-year 2018 operating earnings guidance to $3.95 to $4.10 per share
- Executed agreement to divest interest in Blue Racer Midstream for consideration of up to $1.5 billion
- Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Supply Header cost, schedule modifications
RICHMOND, Va., Nov. 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Energy (NYSE: D) today announced unaudited reported earnings determined in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (reported earnings) for the three months ended Sept. 30, 2018 of $854 million ($1.30 per share) compared with earnings of $665 million ($1.03 per share) for the same period in 2017.
Operating earnings for the three months ended Sept. 30, 2018, were $758 million ($1.15 per share), compared with operating earnings of $672 million ($1.04 per share) for the same period in 2017. Operating earnings are defined as reported earnings adjusted for certain items. The principal difference between operating and reported earnings for the quarter was a gain on nuclear decommissioning trust funds.
Thomas F. Farrell, II, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said:
"Our third-quarter results were at the top end of our guidance range of $0.95 to $1.15 representing another quarter of very strong results. We are narrowing our 2018 full year operating earnings per share guidance range to $3.95 to $4.10 per share which preserves the same midpoint as our original guidance. Assuming normal weather, we continue to expect operating earnings per share for 2018 to be above the midpoint of this narrowed guidance range.
"We continue to achieve important milestones for growth investments in solar and offshore wind generation, strategic electric distribution undergrounding, electric grid modernization, electric transmission, nuclear generation relicensing, and gas distribution pipeline replacement. These programs will provide meaningful benefits to our customers and will support earnings growth well into the next decade."
Additional non-core asset sale
Dominion Energy also announced today that it has executed a definitive agreement to divest its 50% interest in the Blue Racer Midstream joint venture to First Reserve and affiliated investment funds for total consideration of up to $1.5 billion including $1.2 billion of cash consideration and up to $300 million in earn-out payments that would be payable from 2019 through 2021 based on Blue Racer Midstream's performance.
The transaction is expected to close by year-end 2018 and initial proceeds will be used to reduce parent-level debt. Goldman Sachs & Co acted as financial advisor to Dominion Energy and Troutman Sanders as legal counsel.
"Blue Racer Midstream is a high-quality business with an extremely capable management team. However, this investment has become non-core to Dominion Energy as we continue to focus on regulated energy infrastructure," said Farrell. "We have consistently indicated that a sale of Blue Racer would be opportunistic based on a compelling valuation and transaction structure. We are very pleased with the attractive valuation achieved through the competitive sale process which represents a multiple range of approximately 14 times to 16 times estimated 2018 EBITDA based on bookends of potential payments to be received under the earn-out structure," he added.
Farrell continued, "In concluding the credit improvement initiatives announced in March, we have sourced funds to reduce our parent-level debt by around $8 billion including equity issuance, non-core asset sales, and the Cove Point debt financing. As a result, we will achieve our target parent company credit objectives two years earlier than originally planned."
Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Supply Header project updates
Dominion Energy also provided cost and schedule updates on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Supply Header projects. The FERC stop work order and delays obtaining permits necessary for construction have impacted the cost and schedule for the project. As a result, project cost estimates have increased from a range of $6.0 to $6.5 billion to a range of $6.5 to $7.0 billion, excluding financing costs.
Atlantic Coast Pipeline is pursuing a phased in-service approach with its customers, whereby we maintain a late 2019 in-service for key segments of the project to meet peak winter demand in critically constrained regions served by the project. ACP will be pursuing a mid-2020 in-service date for the remaining segments of the project. Abnormal weather and/or work delays (including delays due to judicial or regulatory action) may result in cost or schedule modifications in the future.
The Supply Header project target in-service remains late 2019.
"We have been constructing ACP in West Virginia and North Carolina and on October 19 we received the final Virginia permit required to petition FERC to be underway with full mainline construction in all three states," Farrell said. "Following approval from FERC of our Notice to Proceed filing, we will begin mainline construction in Virginia."
"We continue to achieve key milestones toward the successful completion of this critical energy infrastructure project and look forward to delivering safe, reliable, and affordable energy to our customers in time to meet peak demand for the 2019/20 winter season," Farrell added.
Third-quarter 2018 reported and operating earnings compared to 2017
Reported earnings increased 27 cents per share as compared to third-quarter 2017. Business segment results and detailed descriptions of items included in reported earnings but excluded from operating earnings can be found on schedules 1, 2, and 3 of this release.
Operating earnings increased 11 cents per share as compared to third-quarter 2017 per share operating earnings. The increase is primarily attributable to favorable weather in our regulated electric service territory, the commercial operation of Cove Point Liquefaction project and the impact of tax reform. Factors offsetting the increase include lower renewable energy investment tax credits and a higher share count.
Details of third-quarter operating earnings as compared to 2017 may be found on Schedule 4 of this release.
Fourth-quarter 2018 operating earnings guidance
Dominion Energy expects fourth-quarter 2018 operating earnings in the range of $0.80 to $0.95 per share, compared to fourth-quarter 2017 operating earnings of $0.91 per share. Positive drivers include the Cove Point Liquefaction project and the benefit of tax reform. The company expects negative drivers for the quarter to include lower renewable energy investment tax credits, higher financing costs and a higher share count.
Important note to investors regarding operating and reported earnings
Dominion Energy uses operating earnings as the primary performance measurement of its earnings guidance and results for public communications with analysts and investors. Dominion Energy also uses operating earnings internally for budgeting, for reporting to the Board of Directors, for the company's incentive compensation plans and for its targeted dividend payouts and other purposes. Dominion Energy management believes operating earnings provide a more meaningful representation of the company's fundamental earnings power.
In providing its operating earnings guidance, the company notes that there could be differences between expected reported earnings and estimated operating earnings for matters such as, but not limited to, acquisitions, divestitures or changes in accounting principles. At this time, Dominion Energy management is not able to estimate the aggregate impact of these items on future period reported earnings.
Conference call today
The company will host its third-quarter earnings conference call at 11 a.m. ET on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. Management will discuss third-quarter financial results and other matters of interest to the financial community.
Domestic callers should dial (877) 410-5657. International callers should dial (334) 323-9872. The passcode for the conference call is "Dominion." Participants should dial in 10 to 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. Members of the media also are invited to listen.
A live webcast of the conference call, including accompanying slides, and other financial information will be available on the investor information pages at investors.dominionenergy.com.
A replay of the conference call will be available beginning about 2 p.m. ET Nov. 1 and lasting until 11 p.m. ET Nov. 8. Domestic callers may access the recording by dialing (877) 919-4059. International callers should dial (334) 323-0140. The PIN for the replay is 89035328. Additionally, a replay of the webcast will be available on the investor information pages by the end of the day Nov. 1.
About Dominion Energy
Nearly 6 million customers in 19 states energize their homes and businesses with electricity or natural gas from Dominion Energy (NYSE: D), headquartered in Richmond, Va. The company is committed to sustainable, reliable, affordable, and safe energy and is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy with nearly $80 billion of assets providing electric generation, transmission and distribution, as well as natural gas storage, transmission, distribution, and import/export services. As one of the nation's leading solar operators, the company intends to reduce its carbon intensity 50 percent by 2030. Through its Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, as well as EnergyShare and other programs, Dominion Energy plans to contribute more than $30 million in 2018 to community causes throughout its footprint and beyond. Please visit www.DominionEnergy.com, Facebook or Twitter to learn more.
This release contains certain forward-looking statements, including forecasted operating earnings for fourth-quarter and full-year 2018 and beyond which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include, but are not limited to: unusual weather conditions and their effect on energy sales to customers and energy commodity prices; extreme weather events and other natural disasters; federal, state and local legislative and regulatory developments; changes to federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations, including proposed carbon regulations; cost of environmental compliance; changes in enforcement practices of regulators relating to environmental standards and litigation exposure for remedial activities; capital market conditions, including the availability of credit and the ability to obtain financing on reasonable terms; fluctuations in interest rates; changes in rating agency requirements or credit ratings and their effect on availability and cost of capital; impacts of acquisitions, divestitures, transfers of assets by Dominion Energy to joint ventures or to Dominion Energy Midstream Partners, and retirements of assets based on asset portfolio reviews; the expected timing and likelihood of completion of the proposed acquisition of SCANA Corporation, including the timing, receipt and terms and conditions of required regulatory approvals; receipt of approvals for, and timing of, closing dates for other acquisitions and divestitures; changes in demand for Dominion Energy's services; additional competition in Dominion Energy's industries; changes to regulated rates collected by Dominion Energy; changes in operating, maintenance and construction costs; timing and receipt of regulatory approvals necessary for planned construction or expansion projects and compliance with conditions associated with such regulatory approvals; the inability to complete planned construction projects within time frames initially anticipated; and the ability of Dominion Energy Midstream Partners to negotiate, obtain necessary approvals and consummate acquisitions from Dominion Energy and third-parties, and the impacts of such acquisitions. Other risk factors are detailed from time to time in Dominion Energy's and Dominion Energy Midstream Partners' quarterly reports on Form 10-Q or most recent annual report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.