Release and Selected Exhibits
Presentation and Complete Earnings Exhibits
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—PG&E Corporation's (NYSE: PCG) third-quarter 2013 net income after dividends on preferred stock (also called "income available for common shareholders") reported in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) was $161 million, or $0.36 per share. This compares with $361 million, or $0.84 per share, for the third quarter of 2012.
GAAP results include items that management does not consider part of normal, ongoing operations (items impacting comparability), which totaled $396 million pre-tax, or $0.52 per share for the quarter. The items impacting comparability related almost entirely to natural gas matters, including costs to validate safe pipeline operating pressures and make other safety improvements, as well as legal and other costs. For the third quarter, PG&E increased its accrual for third-party liability claims by $110 million as previously disclosed, and took a pre-tax charge of $196 million for disallowed capital expenditures relating to a required update of its Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan.
PG&E Corporation Chairman, CEO and President Tony Earley said: "While we are disappointed by the need for another charge against earnings, we are satisfied with the solid operational performance overall in executing this important plan. During the quarter, we also were pleased to have resolved nearly all remaining third-party claims related to San Bruno through settlements that treat victims and families fairly and responsibly. It is now vital to PG&E customers that state regulators resolve pending gas proceedings in a timely and balanced manner."
The total cost to shareholders for natural gas pipeline safety-related work incurred since the San Bruno accident or committed over the next several years exceeds $2.4 billion.
Earnings from Operations
On a non-GAAP basis, excluding items that management does not consider part of normal, ongoing operations, results were $395 million, or $0.88 per share, compared to $399 million, or $0.93 per share for the third quarter of 2012.
Among the major factors contributing to this quarter-over-quarter difference, the negative impacts of a lower regulated return on equity and debt compared to last year and a higher number of shares outstanding were only partially offset by higher rate base earnings and other smaller items.
2013 Earnings Guidance
PG&E Corporation is maintaining its previously issued 2013 guidance range for non-GAAP earnings from operations of $2.55 to $2.75 per share. On a GAAP basis, the range for projected earnings has been lowered to $1.60 to $1.96 per share.
Guidance is based on various assumptions, including the level of capital expenditures, rate base and return on equity, the amount of future equity issuances, and unrecovered shareholder costs to improve the safety of the gas pipeline system. Guidance does not include potential fines beyond the $200 million already accrued. These and other assumptions are provided in an appendix to the presentation accompanying the earnings release, available on PG&E Corporation's website at: http://www.pgecorp.com/news/press_releases/Release_Archive2013/131030press_release.shtml.
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 exhibits 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 have been furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission and are available on PG&E Corporation's website cited above.
Conference Call with the Financial Community to Discuss Financial Results
Today's call at 12:00 p.m., Eastern Time, is open to the public on a listen-only basis via webcast. Please visit http://www.pgecorp.com/investors/investor_info/conference/ 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 until 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, November 13, 2013, by dialing (866) 415-9493. International callers may dial (205) 289-3247. For both domestic and international callers, the pin number 24024# will be required to access the replay.
Management's statements regarding guidance for PG&E Corporation's future financial results and earnings from operations per common share, and the underlying assumptions about the future levels of capital expenditures, rate base, costs, and equity issuances, constitute forward-looking statements that are necessarily subject to various risks and uncertainties. These statements reflect management's judgment and opinions which are based on current expectations and various forecasts, estimates, and projections, the realization or resolution of which may be outside of management's control. PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company ("Utility") are not able to predict all the factors that may affect future results. Some of the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include:
- the outcome of the CPUC's pending investigations related to the Utility's natural gas operating practices and the San Bruno accident, including the ultimate amount of fines payable to the State General Fund and the extent to which the Utility's past and future unrecovered and unrecoverable costs to perform work associated with its natural gas system are considered in reaching the final outcome;
- the outcome of the pending criminal investigation related to the San Bruno accident, including the amount of any fines the Utility may be required to pay and the impact of remedial measures the Utility may be required to implement, such as the appointment of an independent monitor;
- whether PG&E Corporation and the Utility are able to repair the reputational harm that they have suffered, and may suffer in the future, due to the negative publicity surrounding the San Bruno accident, the related civil litigation, and the investigations, including any charge or finding of criminal liability;
- the timing and amount of insurance recoveries related to third-party liability incurred in connection with the San Bruno accident;
- the outcomes of regulatory and ratemaking proceedings, such as the 2014 General Rate Case, the CPUC's compliance audits of the Utility's annual electricity procurement costs, the 2015 Gas Transmission & Storage rate case, and the Transmission Owner rate cases pending at the FERC;
- the ultimate amount of costs the Utility incurs in the future that are not recovered through rates, including costs to perform incremental work to improve the safety and reliability of electric and natural gas operations;
- the amount and timing of additional common stock issuances by PG&E Corporation the proceeds of which are contributed as equity to maintain the Utility's authorized capital structure as it incurs charges and costs, including costs and fines associated with natural gas matters, that are not recoverable through rates or insurance; and changes in the availability and cost of borrowing and debt financing especially if PG&E Corporation's or the Utility's credit ratings are downgraded;
- the impact of environmental laws, regulations, and orders and the Utility's ability to recover associated compliance costs, including the costs to comply with cap-and-trade regulations and the costs of renewable energy procurement;
- the extent to which the Utility is able to recover environmental remediation costs in rates or from other sources; and the ultimate amount of environmental remediation costs the Utility incurs but does not recover, such as the remediation costs associated with the Utility's natural gas compressor station site located near Hinkley, California;
- the impact of new legislation, regulations, recommendations, policies, decisions, or orders relating to the operations, seismic design, security, safety, re-licensing, or decommissioning of nuclear generation facilities; the storage of spent nuclear fuel; or cooling water intake;
- the occurrence of events, including cyber-attacks, that can cause unplanned outages, reduce generating output, disrupt the Utility's service to customers, or damage or disrupt the facilities, operations, or information technology and systems owned by the Utility, its customers, or third parties on which the Utility relies; and whether the occurrence of such events subjects the Utility to third-party liability, or result in the imposition of civil, criminal, or regulatory penalties; and
- the other factors and risks discussed in PG&E Corporation's and the Utility's 2012 Annual Report on Form 10-K and other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.