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Piedmont Natural Gas Initiates Fiscal Year 2012 Earnings Guidance

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Charlotte based Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) is initiating its earnings guidance for the fiscal year ending October 31, 2012 in the range of $1.58 to $1.68 per diluted share.

The guidance for the fiscal year 2012 reflects the following assumptions:

  • Margin growth from continued 1% gross customer additions in the Company's North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee markets; completion and placement into service of the Wayne power generation delivery project on June 1; and resolution of our general rate application with the Tennessee Regulatory Authority (TRA) effective March 1,
  • A $3.1 million margin decrease pursuant to a settlement approved in the Company's 2011 South Carolina Rate Stabilization proceeding,
  • A 9% increase in O&M expenses primarily driven by higher medical costs, pension expense, payroll, regulatory asset amortizations and pipeline integrity expenses,
  • Capital expenditures in the range of $550 - $600 million, including $250 - $290 million for power generation delivery projects and $70 - $80 million for transmission pipeline integrity management programs,
  • Allowance for Funds Used During Construction (AFUDC) of $22 million resulting from the amount and timing of the capital expenditures,
  • Continued performance from our equity method investments, including an investment by Cardinal Pipeline to serve the Wayne power generation project,
  • Open market share repurchase to offset stock issuances associated with the Company's Dividend Reinvestment Program and other stock-based programs with no permanent reduction in shares outstanding for fiscal year 2012, and
  • Issuance of approximately $300 million of new, long-term debt in our fiscal 2012 third quarter.

Forward-looking Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management's current expectations and information currently available and are believed to be reasonable and are made in good faith. However, the forward-looking statements are subject to future events, risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the statements. Factors that may make the actual results differ from anticipated results include, but are not limited to, weather conditions, rate of customer growth, the cost and availability of natural gas, competition from other energy providers, new legislation and regulations and application of existing laws and regulations, economic and capital market conditions, the cost and availability of labor and materials and other uncertainties, all of which are difficult to predict and some of which are beyond our control. For these reasons, you should not rely on these forward-looking statements when making investment decisions. The words "expect," "believe," "project," "anticipate," "intend," "should," "could," "assume," "estimate," "forecast," "future," "indicate," "outlook," "plan," "predict," "seek," "target," "would," and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are only as of the date they are made and we do not undertake any obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statement, either as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. More information about the risks and uncertainties relating to these forward-looking statements may be found in Piedmont's latest Forms 10-K and 10-Q, which are available on the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov/.

About Piedmont Natural Gas

Piedmont Natural Gas is an energy services company primarily engaged in the distribution of natural gas to more than one million residential, commercial and industrial utility customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, including 52,000 customers served by municipalities who are wholesale customers. Our subsidiaries are invested in joint venture, energy-related businesses, including unregulated retail natural gas marketing, interstate natural gas storage and intrastate natural gas transportation. More information about Piedmont Natural Gas is available on the Internet at http://www.piedmontng.com/.

SOURCE Piedmont Natural Gas

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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