Atmos Energy Corporation Reports Earnings For Fiscal 2013 First Quarter; Company Affirms Fiscal 2013 Guidance

Atmos Energy Corporation (NYSE: ATO) today reported consolidated results for its fiscal 2013 first quarter ended December 31, 2012.
  • Fiscal 2013 first quarter consolidated results, excluding net unrealized margins were $67.7 million, or $0.74 per diluted share, compared with results, excluding net unrealized margins of $55.5 million, or $0.61 per diluted share in the prior-year quarter.
  • After including noncash, unrealized net gains of $12.8 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, fiscal 2013 first quarter net income was $80.5 million, or $0.88 per diluted share. Net income was $68.5 million, or $0.75 per diluted share in the prior-year quarter, after including unrealized net gains of $13.0 million or $0.14 per diluted share.
  • Net income from discontinued operations was $3.1 million, or $0.03 per diluted share for the three months ended December 31, 2012, compared with $6.1 million, or $0.07 per diluted share in the prior-year quarter.
  • Atmos Energy expects fiscal 2013 earnings to be at the higher end of the previously announced guidance range of $2.40 and $2.50 per diluted share, excluding unrealized margins and the gain on the sale of the company’s Georgia operations.

“Constructive rate outcomes in a number of our jurisdictions and changes in rate design in our Mid-Tex and West Texas Divisions have further enhanced the stability and predictability of our regulated earnings stream, as well as provided greater certainty for our customers, whose gas service costs will be spread more evenly over the year,” said Kim Cocklin, president and chief executive officer of Atmos Energy Corporation.

Results for the Quarter Ended December 31, 2012

Natural gas distribution gross profit, excluding discontinued operations, decreased $4.0 million to $279.6 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2013, compared with $283.6 million in the prior-year quarter. The decrease in gross profit was primarily due to a $4.6 million net decrease in rate adjustments due largely to the rate design changes ordered in the recent Mid-Tex and West Texas Divisions rate cases. The new rate design includes an increase in the monthly base customer charge and a decrease in the commodity charge applied to consumption. As a result, margins earned during the first and second fiscal quarters are expected to be lower than in previous periods, while margins in the third and fourth fiscal quarters are expected to be higher than in previous periods. Additionally, revenue-related taxes decreased about $2.7 million, primarily due to lower revenues in both the Mid-Tex and West Texas Divisions. These decreases were partially offset by a $2.4 million increase from colder weather, primarily in the Mid-Tex Division.

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