The Utility segment’s earnings of $58.6 million, or $0.70 per share, for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2012, decreased from earnings of $63.2 million, or $0.76 per share, for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2011. Warmer weather in Pennsylvania was the main reason for the decrease in earnings. Temperatures in Pennsylvania were 21.4 percent warmer in the fiscal year ended September 30, 2012, than the prior fiscal year. Higher depreciation expense also reduced earnings. The decrease in earnings was partially offset by the impact of certain regulatory adjustments in the prior fiscal year that did not recur, lower interest expense on deferred gas costs and lower income tax expense.
Energy Marketing Segment
National Fuel Resources, Inc. (“NFR”) comprises the Company’s Energy Marketing segment. NFR markets natural gas to industrial, wholesale, commercial, public authority and residential customers primarily in western and central New York and northwestern Pennsylvania, offering competitively priced natural gas to its customers.
The Energy Marketing segment's loss for the quarter ended September 30, 2012, of $0.5 million, or $0.01 per share, increased $0.2 million, from the prior year's fourth quarter loss of $0.3 million or less than $0.01 per share. The increased loss in the current year's fourth quarter was primarily due to lower average margins.Earnings for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2012, of $4.2 million, or $0.05 per share, decreased $4.6 million, or $0.06 per share, from the prior fiscal year, mainly due to a decrease in average margins and lower retail sales volumes. The decrease in average margins for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2012, was largely driven by a lower benefit derived from the Energy Marketing segment's contracts for storage capacity. The decrease in retail sales volumes was primarily a result of warmer weather. Corporate and All Other The Corporate and All Other category includes the following active, wholly owned subsidiaries of the Company: National Fuel Gas Midstream Corporation (“Midstream”), formed to build, own and operate natural gas processing and pipeline gathering facilities in the Appalachian region; and Seneca’s Northeast division, which markets high quality hardwoods from Appalachian land holdings.
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