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Northeast Utilities (NYSE: NU) today reported first quarter 2014 earnings of $236 million, or $0.74 per share, compared with earnings of $228.1 million, or $0.72 per share, in the first quarter of 2013. Excluding integration costs of $5.8 million in 2014 and $1.8 million in 2013, NU earned $241.8 million, or $0.76 per share, in the first quarter of 2014, compared with earnings of $229.9 million, or $0.73 per share, in the first quarter of 2013.
Thomas J. May, NU chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, “These financial results are consistent with our previously announced recurring earnings guidance of between $2.60 and $2.75 per share for this year and represent a strong start to 2014.”
Also today, the NU Board of Trustees declared a regular quarterly dividend of $0.3925 per share, payable June 30, 2014 to shareholders of record as of May 30, 2014.
Electric Distribution and Generation
NU’s electric distribution and generation segment earned $112.2 million in the first quarter of 2014, compared with earnings of $99.5 million in the first quarter of 2013. Improved results primarily reflect colder weather in the first quarter of 2014, compared with the same period of 2013. First quarter 2014 heating degree days in Boston and Hartford averaged approximately 14 percent higher than 2013 levels and 12 percent above normal. As a result, NU’s retail electric sales in the first quarter of 2014 were 4 percent higher than 2013 levels. They were 1.3 percent higher on a weather adjusted basis.
NU’s transmission segment earned $74.9 million in the first quarter of 2014, compared with $79.9 million in the first quarter of 2013. Lower transmission earnings were due primarily to a higher effective tax rate in the first quarter of 2014. A state tax settlement last year resulted in a lower effective tax rate at both The Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P) and NU parent in the first quarter of 2013, compared with the same period of 2014.