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National Fuel Reports 2012 Earnings

“In the Pipeline and Storage segment, operating results for the fiscal year were up an impressive 50 percent on the strength of our recent expansion projects. At Seneca, annual Marcellus production increased 58 percent as a result of ongoing success in our major development areas. Crude oil production grew by 8 percent in California, which, combined with higher realized prices, contributed to a significant growth in our West Division cash flows. At the Utility, our employees did an outstanding job controlling expenses, which helped to offset the impact of the warmest winter on record in our service territory.

“As we progress into fiscal 2013 and beyond, we believe natural gas is positioned to play a critical and expanding role in the United States energy picture. National Fuel, with our diversified business model and strong balance sheet, is well positioned to capitalize on this opportunity and will remain focused on delivering long-term value for our shareholders.”

SUMMARY OF RESULTS

National Fuel had consolidated earnings for the quarter ended September 30, 2012, of $48.8 million, or $0.58 per share, compared to the prior year’s fourth quarter earnings of $37.4 million, or $0.45 per share, an increase of $11.4 million or $0.13 per share. The increase is mainly due to higher earnings in the Pipeline and Storage and Utility segments, offset by lower earnings in the Exploration and Production and Energy Marketing segments, and the All Other category. (Note: All references to earnings per share are to diluted earnings per share, and all amounts used in the discussion of earnings and operating results before items impacting comparability (“Operating Results”) are after tax unless otherwise noted.)

Consolidated earnings for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2012, of $220.1 million, or $2.63 per share, decreased $38.3 million, or $0.46 per share, from the same period in the prior year, where earnings were $258.4 million or $3.09 per share.

     

 

Three Months Fiscal Year
Ended September 30, Ended September 30,
2012   2011 2012   2011
(in thousands except per share amounts)
Reported GAAP earnings $ 48,802 $ 37,356 $ 220,077 $ 258,402
Items impacting comparability 1 :
Eliminate other postretirement regulatory liability (12,786 ) (12,786 )
Pennsylvania impact fee (pre fiscal 2012) 4,034
Gain on sale of landfill gas electric generation investments (31,418 )
       
Operating Results $ 36,016   $ 37,356 $ 211,325   $ 226,984  
 
Reported GAAP earnings per share $ 0.58 $ 0.45 $ 2.63 $ 3.09
Items impacting comparability 1 :
Eliminate other postretirement regulatory liability (0.15 ) (0.15 )
Pennsylvania impact fee (pre fiscal 2012) 0.05
Gain on sale of landfill gas electric generation investments (0.38 )
       
Operating Results $ 0.43   $ 0.45 $ 2.53   $ 2.71  
 

1 See discussion of these individual items below.

 

As outlined in the table above, certain items included in GAAP earnings impacted the comparability of the Company’s financial results with equivalent periods in fiscal 2011. Excluding these items, Operating Results for the current quarter of $36.0 million, or $0.43 per share, decreased $1.3 million, or $0.02 per share, from the prior year’s fourth quarter where Operating Results were $37.4 million, or $0.45 per share. Excluding these items, Operating Results for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2012, of $211.3 million, or $2.53 per share, decreased $15.7 million, or $0.18 per share, from the prior year, where Operating Results were $227.0 million or $2.71 per share. Items impacting comparability will be discussed in more detail within the discussion of segment earnings below.

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