Northeast Utilities (NYSE: NU) today reported earnings of $209.5 million, or $0.66 per share, in the third quarter of 2013, compared with earnings of $207.6 million, or $0.66 per share, in the third quarter of 2012.
Third quarter 2013 results included approximately $7 million, or $0.03 per share, of after-tax integration charges related to the April 2012 merger between NU and NSTAR. Excluding those charges, NU earned $216.5 million, or $0.69 per share, in the third quarter of 2013. Third quarter 2012 results included approximately $12.9 million, or $0.04 per share, of after-tax charges related to the merger.
In the first nine months of 2013, NU earned $608.6 million, or $1.93 per share, compared with earnings of $351.2 million, or $1.32 per share, in the first nine months of 2012. Excluding integration costs of $10.6 million, or $0.03 per share, NU earned $619.2 million, or $1.96 per share, in the first nine months of 2013. In the first nine months of 2012, NU earned $456.7 million, or $1.72 per share, excluding merger and related regulatory settlement costs. Because the merger closed on April 10, 2012, NU’s nine-month results from last year exclude NSTAR’s first quarter 2012 earnings.
Thomas J. May, NU chairman, president and chief executive officer, said that NU’s operational and financial performance has been strong this year and that results for the first nine months of the year were consistent with NU’s expectations, illustrating the benefits of the merger. “Our reliability and customer service levels continue to be strong this year and our cost control efforts remain on target,” May said. “This reflects the success of our employees in adopting best practices as we integrate our operations and improve our customer service.”
Also today, NU affirmed its 2013 earnings guidance of $2.45 to $2.60 per share.
NU’s transmission segment earned $58.6 million in the third quarter of 2013 and $215.4 million in the first nine months of 2013, compared with $71.1 million in the third quarter of 2012 and $181.1 million in the first nine months of 2012. Third quarter 2013 results reflect an after-tax reserve of $14.3 million resulting from an August 2013 recommendation from a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) administrative law judge in a matter that is now before the FERC. That recommendation, if accepted by the FERC, would lower the base return on equity earned by New England transmission owners from 11.14 percent to 10.6 percent for the 15-month period of October 1, 2011 through December 31, 2012. Excluding that reserve, transmission earnings rose in 2013, compared with 2012, due to continued investment in NU’s transmission system, as well as the absence of NSTAR Electric Company transmission results from first quarter 2012 consolidated earnings.