Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Dominion Earnings up on Power Demand, Tax Cuts

By Rich Heidorn Jr.

Dominion Energy reported earnings of $449 million ($0.69/share) in the second quarter, up from $390 million ($0.62/share) for the same period in 2017, boosted by increased power sales and higher-than-expected benefits from tax cuts.

Excluding one-time rate credits and charges related to plant retirements and other matters, operating earnings for the quarter were $560 million ($0.86/share), above the company’s guidance range of 70 to 80 cents and up 33% from $421 million ($0.67/share) a year earlier.

“Based on the very strong results for the second quarter, we expect to be in the upper half of our 2018 guidance range, and our 2017 to 2020 earnings growth rate remains 6 to 8%,” CFO Mark F. McGettrick said during an earnings call Thursday.

The Power Generation Group had $639 million in cash flow, aided by lower operating and maintenance expenses and favorable weather.

CEO Thomas Farrell said Virginia Power’s weather normalized sales for the first six months of the year were 2.25% above 2017, driven by increasing demand from data centers and residential customers. “Over the past year, we have added over 400 MW of demand capacity across 14 data centers and expect to see continued strong growth,” Farrell said.

Millstone Update

On Wednesday, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection issued its final solicitation for zero-carbon resources after changing terms to allow Dominion to offer its Millstone nuclear plant.

dominion energy earnings data centers

Dominion Energy lineman | Dominion Energy

The company submitted Millstone’s financials to the state in May, seeking qualification of the nuclear plant as an “at-risk” resource. “We expect Millstone to be granted at-risk status, which means the bids will be judged on price and non-price attributes, such as carbon, economic impact and fuel security,” Farrell said. Bids are due Sept. 14, with a selection of winners expected by the end of the year.

Farrell noted that the company’s nuclear fleet has been operating for 660 days without an unplanned reactor shutdown, besting the previous record of 339 days set in 2012.

New Resources

The company’s Cove Point LNG export facility entered commercial service early in the second quarter and has loaded more than 60 Bcf of LNG on 19 cargoes.

Dominion’s $1.3 billion 1,588-MW Greensville County (Va.) combined-cycle power station is on budget and 95% complete, with commercial operations expected late this year.

The company will soon seek Virginia regulators’ approval of its proposed Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project, a 12-MW, two-turbine test project being developed with Orsted, of Denmark.

Analyst call transcript courtesy of Seeking Alpha.