Black Hills Corp. Announces 24 Percent Increase in 2014 First Quarter Adjusted Earnings Per Share and Increases 2014 Earnings Guidance
Black Hills Corp. (NYSE: BKH) announced 2014 first quarter financial results. Net income, as adjusted, and net income were both $48 million, or $1.08 per diluted share, compared to net income, as adjusted of $38 million, or $0.87 per diluted share, and net income of $43 million, or $0.97 per diluted share, for the same period in 2013 (net income, as adjusted, is a non-GAAP measure, and an accompanying schedule for the GAAP to non-GAAP adjustment reconciliation is provided).
“We are pleased with the continued strong operational and financial performance of our businesses,” said David R. Emery, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Black Hills Corp. “Earnings of $1.08 per share reflect a 24 percent increase compared to adjusted earnings in the same period last year. Results were driven by earnings growth at our utilities, coal mining and power generation segments. Notably, our gas utilities' results were stronger than expected due to colder-than-normal weather, adding approximately $0.10 per share positive earnings impact. Interest expense declined substantially this quarter due to lower interest rates and settlement of interest rate swaps from refinancing activity in late 2013.”
Black Hills Corp. highlights, recent regulatory filings and other updates include:
- On April 30, Colorado Electric filed a rate request with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission to increase its annual revenue by $8.0 million to recover increased operating expenses and infrastructure investments, including those for the Busch Ranch Wind Farm. The filing also seeks to implement a rider to recover a return on the construction costs of building a new natural gas-fired generating turbine that will replace the retired W.N. Clark power plant.
- On April 29, Kansas Gas filed a rate request with the Kansas Corporation Commission to increase its annual revenue by $7.3 million, primarily to recover infrastructure investments made since its last rate filing in late 2006.
- Construction for the 132 megawatt, natural gas-fired Cheyenne Prairie Generating Station in Cheyenne, Wyo., is on schedule and within budget. The new power plant is expected to begin commercial operation in October 2014. The plant will serve customers of Cheyenne Light and Black Hills Power in Wyoming and South Dakota.
- On March 31, Black Hills Power filed a rate request with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission to increase its annual revenue by $14.6 million to recover increased operating expenses and infrastructure investments, primarily for the Cheyenne Prairie Generating Station.
- On March 21, Black Hills Power retired the Ben French, Neil Simpson I and Osage coal-fired power plants. These three plants, totaling 81 megawatts, were closed because of federal environmental regulations. These plants will largely be replaced by Black Hills Power's share of the Cheyenne Prairie Generating Station.
- On Feb. 25, Colorado Electric received the final written order from the Colorado Public Utilities Commission approving a settlement agreement for the Electric Resource Plan filed by Colorado Electric on May 1, 2013. The settlement approved the construction of a 40 megawatt, natural gas-fired combustion turbine to replace W.N. Clark. The plan also included retirement of Pueblo 5 and 6 units.
- On Jan. 17, Black Hills Power filed a request with the Wyoming Public Service Commission to increase its annual revenue by $2.8 million to recover increased operating expenses and investments made in electric infrastructure, including the Cheyenne Prairie Generating Station.
- Our utilities continued to acquire small natural gas distribution systems adjacent to their existing service territories. A small natural gas system was purchased during the first quarter, adding approximately 70 new customers in Kansas. An acquisition was announced in January that will add 400 customers in northeastern Wyoming.
- On Dec. 2, 2013, Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power filed requests with the Wyoming Public Service Commission to increase its annual revenue by $14.1 million to recover increased operating expenses and investments in electric and natural gas infrastructure, including the Cheyenne Prairie Generating Station.
- Two southern Piceance Basin horizontal wells, drilled and completed in the Mancos Shale formation in 2013, were placed on production during the first quarter.
- On April 28, Black Hills’ board of directors declared a quarterly dividend on the common stock. Shareholders of record at the close of business on May 16 will receive $0.39 per share, equivalent to an annual dividend rate of $1.56 per share, payable on June 1, 2014.
- On Jan. 30, Moody's Investors Service upgraded the company's corporate credit rating to Baa1 from Baa2, with a stable outlook.
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For more information:
Black Hills Corporation
625 Ninth St
Rapid City, South Dakota
United States, 57709-1400
Jerome Nichols, Investor Relations
Black Hills Corporation
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