Release and Selected Exhibits
Presentation and Complete Earnings Exhibits
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—PG&E Corporation's (NYSE: PCG) third-quarter 2015 net income after dividends on preferred stock (also called "income available for common shareholders") was $307 million or $0.63 per share, as reported in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). This compares with $811 million, or $1.71 per share, for the third quarter of 2014.
The significant difference in year-over-year third quarter results was driven primarily by the timing of regulatory proceedings in key rate cases this year and last.
GAAP results include items that management does not consider part of the normal course of operations (items impacting comparability), which totaled $178 million pre-tax, or $0.21 per share, for the quarter. These items included accruals related to the expected disallowance of certain gas transmission capital expenditures that PG&E believes will be treated as part of the previously announced penalty resulting from the San Bruno investigation. Other items included expenses associated with work to clear pipeline rights of way and pipeline safety enhancement work, as well as legal and regulatory costs related to natural gas matters. These were offset partially by insurance recoveries.
"We continue to move forward with investments and initiatives that will allow us to meet the changing needs of our customers and the ambitious clean energy vision set out by the state. Modernizing California's electric grid and other vital energy infrastructure is essential to achieving the state's renewable energy and greenhouse gas goals, as well as meeting the need for continued safe, reliable and affordable service. Our commitment in these areas was reflected last quarter in the proposed investments in our 2017 General Rate Case, our strong operational response to the recent wildfires, and our support for California's new target to deliver half of the state's energy from renewable sources," said Tony Earley, Chairman, CEO and President of PG&E Corporation.
Third-Quarter Earnings from Operations
On a non-GAAP basis, excluding items impacting comparability, PG&E Corporation's earnings from operations for the third quarter of 2015 were $412 million, or $0.84 per share, compared with $820 million, or $1.73 per share, during the same period in 2014. The largest factor contributing to the year-over-year decrease in quarterly results was the timing of the final decision in the 2014 General Rate Case (GRC), which was received in the third quarter last year. Because the decision was retroactive to the beginning of 2014, the company recorded three quarters' worth of increased revenue in the third quarter of last year.
Additionally, revenues in the third quarter this year were lower because the company's 2015 Gas Transmission and Storage rate case has not yet been resolved. A final decision is not expected until 2016. Other factors contributing to comparatively lower third-quarter results this year included the timing of certain tax impacts and an increase in the number of shares outstanding, among other items. These items were partially offset by increases due to growth in rate base earnings.
2015 Earnings Guidance
PG&E Corporation is narrowing its 2015 guidance for non-GAAP earnings from operations to reflect the fact that results through the third quarter are trending toward the upper end of its previously issued range. The guidance range for full-year 2015 earnings from operations is now $3.00 to $3.10 per share, compared with the previously issued guidance range of $2.90 to $3.10 per share. On a GAAP basis, the guidance range for projected earnings is now $1.64 to $1.83 per share, reflecting the impact of the penalties assessed by the CPUC as well as other items, compared with the previously issued guidance range of $1.51 to $1.83 per share. Guidance is based on various assumptions and forecasts, including those relating to expenses, authorized revenues, capital expenditures, rate base, and equity issuances.
PG&E Corporation discloses historical financial results and provides guidance based on "earnings from operations" in order to provide a measure that allows investors to compare the underlying financial performance of the business from one period to another, exclusive of items that management believes do not reflect the normal course of operations. Earnings from operations are not a substitute or alternative for consolidated income available for common shareholders presented in accordance with GAAP. See the accompanying tables for a reconciliation of the differences between results and guidance based on earnings from operations and results and guidance based on consolidated income available for common shareholders.
Supplemental Financial Information
In addition to the financial information accompanying this release, presentation slides for today's conference call with the financial community, including slides relating to some of the assumptions and forecasts underlying 2015 EPS guidance, have been furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission and are available on PG&E Corporation's website at: http://investor.pgecorp.com/financials/quarterly-earnings-reports/default.aspx.
Conference Call with the Financial Community to Discuss Financial Results
Today's call at 11:00 a.m., Eastern Time, is open to the public on a listen-only basis via webcast. Please visit http://investor.pgecorp.com/news-events/events-and-presentations/default.aspx for more information and instructions for accessing the webcast. The call will be archived on the website. Alternatively, a toll-free replay of the conference call may be accessed shortly after the live call through November 11, 2015, by dialing (866) 415-9493. International callers may dial (205) 289-3247. For both domestic and international callers, the confirmation code 24207# will be required to access the replay.
Management's statements providing guidance for PG&E Corporation's 2015 financial results and the assumptions and forecasts underlying such guidance constitute forward-looking statements that reflect management's judgment and opinions. These statements and assumptions are necessarily subject to various risks and uncertainties, the realization or resolution of which may be outside management's control. Actual results may differ materially. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include:
About PG&E Corporation
- the timing and amount of fines, penalties, and remedial costs that the Utility may incur in connection with the federal criminal prosecution of the Utility, the CPUC's investigation of the Utility's natural gas distribution operations, the Utility's self-reported or alleged non-compliance with natural gas safety regulations, and other investigations or proceedings that have been or may be commenced relating to the Utility's compliance with natural gas-related laws and regulations, violation of the CPUC's rules regarding ex parte communications or other allegedly improper communications, or other matters;
- the Utility's ability to control its costs within the authorized levels of spending and the extent to which the Utility incurs unrecoverable costs that are higher than the forecasts of such costs;
- changes in cost forecasts or the scope and timing of planned work resulting from changes in customer demand for electricity and natural gas or other reasons;
- the impact that reductions in customer demand for electricity and natural gas have on the Utility's ability to make and recover its investments through rates and earn its authorized return on equity and whether the Utility's business strategy to address the impact of growing distributed and renewable generation resources and changing customer demands is successful;
- changes in estimated environmental remediation costs, including costs associated with the Utility's natural gas compressor sites;
- the amount and timing of additional equity and debt issuances and whether PG&E Corporation and the Utility are able to continue accessing capital markets and other sources of debt and equity financing in a timely manner on acceptable terms;
- the amount and timing of charges reflecting probable liabilities for third-party claims and the extent to which costs incurred in connection with third-party claims or litigation can be recovered through insurance, rates, or from other third parties;
- the outcome of federal or state tax audits and the impact of any changes in federal or state tax laws, policies, regulations, or their interpretation; and
- the other factors disclosed in PG&E Corporation's and the Utility's joint Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, June 30, and September 30, 2015.
PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG) is a Fortune 200 energy-based holding company, headquartered in San Francisco. It is the parent company of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, California's largest investor-owned utility. PG&E serves nearly 16 million Californians across a 70,000 square-mile service area in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pgecorp.com and www.pge.com.