Ameren (NYSE: AEE) Announces Third Quarter 2015 Results and Narrows 2015 Earnings Guidance Range

- Third Quarter Diluted Earnings Per Share Were $1.41 in 2015, Compared with $1.20 in 2014

- Guidance Range for 2015 Core (Non-GAAP) Diluted EPS Narrowed to $2.55 to $2.65 from $2.45 to $2.65; GAAP Range is Now $2.58 to $2.68

Nov 06, 2015, 07:59 ET from Ameren Corporation

ST. LOUIS, Nov. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameren Corporation (NYSE: AEE) today announced net income attributable to common stockholders of $343 million, or $1.41 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2015,  compared with $293 million, or $1.20 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2014.

The year-over-year increase in third quarter 2015 earnings reflected higher retail electric sales volumes driven by warmer summer temperatures that were near normal. The comparison also was favorably affected by earnings on increased investments in electric transmission and delivery infrastructure made under formula ratemaking. In addition, earnings benefited from a seasonal rate redesign and the timing of revenues under formula ratemaking for Ameren Illinois' electric delivery service as well as a lower effective income tax rate.

"We are on track to deliver strong earnings growth in 2015," said Warner L. Baxter, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Ameren Corporation. "This growth is driven by the execution of our strategy, which includes allocating capital to jurisdictions with modern, constructive regulatory frameworks and managing our costs in a disciplined manner for the benefit of all our stakeholders."

Ameren recorded net income attributable to common stockholders in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) of $601 million, or $2.47 per diluted share, for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2015, compared to $538 million, or $2.20 per diluted share, for the comparable 2014 period. Excluding certain items discussed below, Ameren recorded core earnings of $592 million, or $2.44 per diluted share, for the first nine months of 2015, compared to core earnings of $541 million, or $2.21 per diluted share, for the comparable 2014 period.

This year-over-year increase in nine-months 2015 core results was favorably affected by earnings on increased investments in electric transmission and delivery infrastructure made under formula ratemaking, a lower effective income tax rate, lower other operations and maintenance expenses, and reduced parent company interest costs. These positive factors were partially offset by higher depreciation and amortization expenses and lower capitalized Ameren Missouri financing costs.

The following items were excluded from core earnings for the first nine months of 2015 and 2014, as applicable:

  • Results from discontinued operations, primarily reflecting recognition of a tax benefit related to the resolution of an uncertain tax position, which increased GAAP net income by $52 million in 2015.
  • A provision for discontinuing pursuit of a construction and operating license (COL) for a second nuclear unit at Ameren Missouri's Callaway Energy Center, which decreased net income from continuing operations by $43 million in 2015.

A reconciliation of GAAP to core earnings per diluted share is as follows:

Three Months

Nine Months

2015

2014

2015

2014

GAAP EPS

$1.41

$1.20

$2.47

$2.20

Results from discontinued operations

(0.21)

0.01

Provision for Callaway COL

0.18

Core EPS

$1.41

$1.20

$2.44

$2.21

Earnings Guidance

Ameren has narrowed its guidance for 2015 core diluted earnings per share to a range of $2.55 to $2.65, compared with the prior range of $2.45 to $2.65, based on year-to-date results. This core earnings guidance excludes results from discontinued operations and the provision for a Callaway COL. GAAP 2015 diluted earnings per share are now expected to be in a range of $2.58 to $2.68, compared to the prior range of $2.48 to $2.68.

Earnings guidance for 2015 assumes normal temperatures for the last three months of this year and is subject to the effects of, among other things, 30-year U.S. Treasury bond yields; regulatory decisions and legislative actions; energy center and energy delivery operations; energy, economic, capital and credit market conditions; severe storms; unusual or otherwise unexpected gains or losses; and other risks and uncertainties outlined, or referred to, in the Forward-looking Statements section of this press release.

Ameren Missouri Segment Results

Ameren Missouri segment third quarter 2015 earnings were $239 million, compared with third quarter 2014 earnings of $222 million. This comparison benefited from higher retail electric sales volumes driven by warmer summer temperatures in 2015 that were near normal.

Ameren Illinois Segment Results

Ameren Illinois segment third quarter 2015 earnings were $98 million, compared with third quarter 2014 earnings of $75 million. This comparison benefited from earnings on increased investments in electric transmission and delivery infrastructure made under formula ratemaking. In addition, electric delivery service earnings benefited from a seasonal rate redesign and the timing of revenues under formula ratemaking. The earnings comparison also was favorably affected by higher retail electric sales volumes partially driven by warmer summer temperatures in 2015 that were near normal. These positive factors were partially offset by lower recognized allowed returns on equity for the electric transmission and delivery businesses.

Other Results, including Parent and ATXI

Other earnings, including those of the parent company and Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATXI), for the third quarter of 2015 were $6 million, compared with a loss of $3 million for the third quarter of 2014. These improvements reflected an increase in earnings at ATXI to $9 million from $5 million as a result of increased investments in electric transmission infrastructure made under formula ratemaking, reduced by a lower recognized allowed return on equity. The comparison also benefited from a lower effective income tax rate.

Analyst Conference Call

Ameren will conduct a conference call for financial analysts at 9 a.m. Central Time on Friday, Nov. 6, to discuss third quarter 2015 earnings, earnings guidance, and regulatory and other matters. Investors, the news media and the public may listen to a live Internet broadcast of the call at Ameren.com by clicking on "Q3 2015 Ameren Corporation Earnings Conference Call," followed by the appropriate audio link. An accompanying slide presentation will be available on Ameren's website. The conference call and this presentation will be accessible in the "Investors" section of the website under "Webcasts & Presentations." The analyst call will be available for replay on Ameren's website for one year. In addition, a telephone replay of the conference call will be available beginning at approximately noon Central Time from Nov. 6 through Nov. 13 by dialing U.S. and Canada 877.660.6853 or international 201.612.7415, and entering ID number 13622386.

About Ameren

St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation powers the quality of life for 2.4 million electric customers and more than 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area through its Ameren Missouri and Ameren Illinois rate-regulated utility subsidiaries. Ameren Illinois provides electric delivery and transmission service as well as natural gas delivery service while Ameren Missouri provides vertically integrated electric service, with generating capacity of over 10,200 megawatts, and natural gas delivery service. Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois develops regional electric transmission projects. Follow the company on Twitter @AmerenCorp. For more information, visit Ameren.com.

Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

In this release, Ameren has presented core earnings and core earnings per share guidance, which are non-GAAP measures and may not be comparable to those of other companies. A reconciliation of non-GAAP information to GAAP information has been included in this release. Generally, core earnings (or losses) include earnings or losses attributable to common stockholders and exclude income or loss from discontinued operations and income or loss from significant discrete items that management does not consider representative of ongoing earnings, such as the Callaway COL provision. Ameren uses core earnings internally for financial planning and for analysis of performance. Ameren also uses core earnings as the primary performance measurement when communicating with analysts and investors regarding our earnings results and outlook, as the company believes that core earnings allow the company to more accurately compare its ongoing performance across periods. In providing consolidated core earnings guidance, there could be differences between core earnings and earnings prepared in accordance with GAAP as a result of our treatment of certain items, such as those described above. Ameren is unable to estimate the impact, if any, on future GAAP earnings of such items.

Forward-looking Statements

Statements in this release not based on historical facts are considered "forward-looking" and, accordingly, involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed. Although such forward-looking statements have been made in good faith and are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that the expected results will be achieved. These statements include (without limitation) statements as to future expectations, beliefs, plans, strategies, objectives, events, conditions, and financial performance. In connection with the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, we are providing this cautionary statement to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. The following factors, in addition to those discussed under Risk Factors in Ameren's Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2014, and elsewhere in this release and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations suggested in such forward-looking statements:

  • regulatory, judicial, or legislative actions, including changes in regulatory policies and ratemaking determinations, that may result from Ameren Illinois' April 2015 annual electric delivery service formula update filing under the Illinois Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (IEIMA); Ameren Illinois' January 2015 natural gas delivery service rate case filing; the complaint cases filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seeking a reduction in the allowed base return on common equity under the Midcontinent Independent System Operator tariff; the complaint case filed with the Missouri Public Service Commission regarding the performance incentive for the 2013 through 2015 Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act (MEEIA) plan; and future regulatory, judicial, or legislative actions that seek to change regulatory recovery mechanisms;
  • the effect of Ameren Illinois participating in a performance-based formula ratemaking process under the IEIMA, including the direct relationship between Ameren Illinois' return on common equity and 30-year United States Treasury bond yields, the related financial commitments required by the IEIMA, and the resulting uncertain impact on the financial condition, results of operations, and liquidity of Ameren Illinois;
  • our ability to align our overall spending, both operating and capital, with regulatory frameworks established by our regulators in an attempt to earn our allowed return on equity;
  • the effects of increased competition in the future due to, among other factors, deregulation of certain aspects of our business at either the state or federal level;
  • changes in laws and other governmental actions, including monetary, fiscal, tax, and energy policies;
  • the effects on demand for our services resulting from technological advances, including advances in customer energy efficiency and distributed generation sources, which generate electricity at the site of consumption and are becoming more cost competitive;
  • the effectiveness of Ameren Missouri's customer energy efficiency programs and the related amount of any net shared benefits and performance incentive earned under the current MEEIA plan and any future MEEIA plan;
  • the timing of increasing capital expenditure and operating expense requirements and our ability to recover these costs in a timely manner;
  • the cost and availability of fuel such as coal, natural gas, and enriched uranium used to produce electricity; the cost and availability of purchased power and natural gas for distribution; and the level and volatility of future market prices for such commodities, including our ability to recover the costs for such commodities and our customers' tolerance for the related rate increases;
  • the effectiveness of our risk management strategies and our use of financial and derivative instruments;
  • the ability to obtain sufficient insurance, including insurance relating to Ameren Missouri's Callaway Energy Center, and to recover the costs of such insurance or, in the absence of insurance, the ability to recover uninsured losses;
  • business and economic conditions, including their impact on key customers, interest rates, collection of our receivable balances, and demand for our products;
  • the financial condition of Noranda Aluminum, Inc. and any significant reductions in the sales volumes used by its aluminum smelter in southeast Missouri below the sales volumes assumed in determining Ameren Missouri's electric rates;
  • revisions to Ameren Missouri's long-term power supply agreement with Noranda, including Ameren Missouri's notification to terminate the agreement effective June 1, 2020 and Ameren Missouri's decision whether to seek MoPSC approval to cease providing electricity to Noranda thereafter;  
  • disruptions of the capital markets, deterioration in our credit metrics, or other events that may have an adverse effect on the cost or availability of capital, including short-term credit and liquidity;
  • the impact of the adoption of new accounting guidance and the application of appropriate technical accounting rules and guidance;
  • actions of credit rating agencies and the effects of such actions;
  • the impact of weather conditions and other natural phenomena on us and our customers, including the impact of system outages;
  • the construction, installation, performance, and cost recovery of generation, transmission, and distribution assets;
  • the effects of breakdowns or failures of equipment in the operation of natural gas distribution systems, such as leaks, explosions and mechanical problems, and compliance with natural gas distribution safety regulations;
  • the effects of our increasing investment in electric transmission projects and uncertainty as to whether we will achieve our expected returns in a timely fashion, if at all;
  • the extent to which Ameren Missouri prevails in its claim against an insurer in connection with the December 2005 breach of the upper reservoir at the Taum Sauk pumped-storage hydroelectric energy center;
  • operation of Ameren Missouri's Callaway Energy Center, including planned and unplanned outages, and decommissioning costs;
  • the effects of strategic initiatives, including mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, and any related tax implications;
  • the impact of current environmental regulations and new, more stringent, or changing requirements, including those related to greenhouse gases, other emissions and discharges, cooling water intake structures, coal combustion residuals, and energy efficiency, that are enacted over time and that could limit or terminate the operation of certain of our energy centers, increase our costs or investment requirements, result in an impairment of our assets, cause us to sell our assets, reduce our customers' demand for electricity or natural gas, or otherwise have a negative financial effect;
  • the impact of complying with renewable energy portfolio requirements in Missouri;
  • labor disputes, work force reductions, future wage and employee benefits costs, including changes in discount rates, mortality tables, and returns on benefit plan assets;
  • the inability of our counterparties to meet their obligations with respect to contracts, credit agreements, and financial instruments;
  • the cost and availability of transmission capacity for the energy generated by Ameren Missouri's energy centers or required to satisfy Ameren Missouri's energy sales;
  • the inability of Dynegy Inc. and Illinois Power Holdings, LLC (IPH) to satisfy their indemnity and other obligations to Ameren in connection with the divestiture of New Ameren Energy Resources Generating Company, LLC to IPH;
  • legal and administrative proceedings; and
  • acts of sabotage, war, terrorism, cyber attacks, or other intentionally disruptive acts.

New factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for management to predict all of such factors, nor can it assess the impact of each such factor on the business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained or implied in any forward-looking statement. Given these uncertainties, undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements. Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect new information or future events.

 

AMEREN CORPORATION (AEE)

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF INCOME

(Unaudited, in millions, except per share amounts)

Three Months Ended September 30,

Nine Months Ended September 30,

2015

2014

2015

2014

Operating Revenues:

Electric

$

1,700

$

1,523

$

4,093

$

3,864

Gas

133

147

697

819

Total operating revenues

1,833

1,670

4,790

4,683

Operating Expenses:

Fuel

259

236

670

638

Purchased power

153

114

393

340

Gas purchased for resale

38

49

320

432

Other operations and maintenance

428

402

1,256

1,231

Provision for Callaway construction and operating license

69

Depreciation and amortization

201

187

594

551

Taxes other than income taxes

128

121

369

362

Total operating expenses

1,207

1,109

3,671

3,554

Operating Income

626

561

1,119

1,129

Other Income and Expense:

Miscellaneous income

19

21

54

60

Miscellaneous expense

5

7

22

20

Total other income

14

14

32

40

Interest Charges

87

85

264

266

Income Before Income Taxes

553

490

887

903

Income Taxes

208

194

333

357

Income from Continuing Operations

345

296

554

546

Income (Loss) from Discontinued Operations, Net of Taxes

(1)

52

(3)

Net Income

345

295

606

543

Less: Net Income from Continuing Operations Attributable to Noncontrolling Interests

2

2

5

5

Net Income (Loss) Attributable to Ameren Common Stockholders:

Continuing Operations

343

294

549

541

Discontinued Operations

(1)

52

(3)

Net Income Attributable to Ameren Common Stockholders

$

343

$

293

$

601

$

538

Earnings (Loss) per Common Share – Basic:

Continuing Operations

$

1.42

$

1.21

$

2.27

$

2.23

Discontinued Operations

0.21

(0.01)

Earnings per Common Share – Basic

$

1.42

$

1.21

$

2.48

$

2.22

Earnings (Loss) per Common Share  – Diluted:

Continuing Operations

$

1.41

$

1.20

$

2.26

$

2.21

Discontinued Operations

0.21

(0.01)

Earnings per Common Share – Diluted

$

1.41

$

1.20

$

2.47

$

2.20

Average Common Shares Outstanding – Basic

242.6

242.6

242.6

242.6

Average Common Shares Outstanding – Diluted

243.9

244.3

243.8

244.3

 

AMEREN CORPORATION (AEE)

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET

(Unaudited, in millions)

September 30, 2015

December 31, 2014

ASSETS

Current Assets:

Cash and cash equivalents

$

72

$

5

Accounts receivable - trade (less allowance for doubtful accounts)

508

423

Unbilled revenue

234

265

Miscellaneous accounts and notes receivable

113

81

Materials and supplies

548

524

Current regulatory assets

163

295

Current accumulated deferred income taxes, net

225

352

Other current assets

103

86

Assets of discontinued operations

17

15

Total current assets

1,983

2,046

Property and Plant, Net

18,307

17,424

Investments and Other Assets:

Nuclear decommissioning trust fund

534

549

Goodwill

411

411

Regulatory assets

1,578

1,582

Other assets

646

664

Total investments and other assets

3,169

3,206

TOTAL ASSETS

$

23,459

$

22,676

LIABILITIES AND EQUITY

Current Liabilities:

Current maturities of long-term debt

$

395

$

120

Short-term debt

783

714

Accounts and wages payable

525

711

Taxes accrued

160

46

Interest accrued

103

85

Current regulatory liabilities

89

106

Other current liabilities

404

434

Liabilities of discontinued operations

30

33

Total current liabilities

2,489

2,249

Long-term Debt, Net

5,981

6,120

Deferred Credits and Other Liabilities:

Accumulated deferred income taxes, net

4,084

3,923

Accumulated deferred investment tax credits

62

64

Regulatory liabilities

1,894

1,850

Asset retirement obligations

597

396

Pension and other postretirement benefits

666

705

Other deferred credits and liabilities

530

514

Total deferred credits and other liabilities

7,833

7,452

Ameren Corporation Stockholders' Equity:

Common stock

2

2

Other paid-in capital, principally premium on common stock

5,612

5,617

Retained earnings

1,405

1,103

Accumulated other comprehensive loss

(5)

(9)

Total Ameren Corporation stockholders' equity

7,014

6,713

Noncontrolling Interests

142

142

Total equity

7,156

6,855

TOTAL LIABILITIES AND EQUITY

$

23,459

$

22,676

 

AMEREN CORPORATION (AEE)

CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS

(Unaudited, in millions)

Nine Months Ended September 30,

2015

2014

Cash Flows From Operating Activities:

Net income

$

606

$

543

(Income) loss from discontinued operations, net of taxes

(52)

3

Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:

Provision for Callaway construction and operating license

69

Depreciation and amortization

582

526

Amortization of nuclear fuel

71

70

Amortization of debt issuance costs and premium/discounts

16

16

Deferred income taxes and investment tax credits, net

318

370

Allowance for equity funds used during construction

(19)

(26)

Stock-based compensation costs

20

20

Other

(8)

(9)

Changes in assets and liabilities:

(70)

(305)

Net cash provided by operating activities – continuing operations

1,533

1,208

Net cash used in operating activities – discontinued operations

(5)

(5)

Net cash provided by operating activities

1,528

1,203

Cash Flows From Investing Activities:

Capital expenditures

(1,332)

(1,310)

Nuclear fuel expenditures

(30)

(28)

Purchases of securities – nuclear decommissioning trust fund

(301)

(365)

Sales and maturities of securities – nuclear decommissioning trust fund

290

354

Proceeds from note receivable - Illinois Power Marketing Company

12

79

Contributions to note receivable - Illinois Power Marketing Company

(8)

(84)

Other

7

3

Net cash used in investing activities – continuing operations

(1,362)

(1,351)

Net cash provided by investing activities – discontinued operations

139

Net cash used in investing activities

(1,362)

(1,212)

Cash Flows From Financing Activities:

Dividends on common stock

(298)

(291)

Dividends paid to noncontrolling interest holders

(5)

(5)

Short-term debt, net

69

385

Redemptions and maturities of long-term debt

(114)

(692)

Issuances of long-term debt

249

598

Capital issuance costs

(2)

(4)

Other

2

1

Net cash used in financing activities – continuing operations

(99)

(8)

Net cash used in financing activities – discontinued operations

Net cash used in financing activities

(99)

(8)

Net change in cash and cash equivalents

67

(17)

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year

5

30

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period

$

72

$

13

 

AMEREN CORPORATION (AEE)

OPERATING STATISTICS FROM CONTINUING OPERATIONS

Three Months Ended

Nine Months Ended

September 30,

September 30,

2015

2014

2015

2014

Electric Sales - kilowatthours (in millions):

Ameren Missouri

Residential

3,587

3,400

10,186

10,479

Commercial

4,109

3,984

11,254

11,206

Industrial

2,152

2,233

6,252

6,511

Off-system

1,673

1,895

5,510

4,786

Other

29

29

90

89

Ameren Missouri total

11,550

11,541

33,292

33,071

Ameren Illinois

Residential

Power supply and delivery service

1,320

1,199

3,763

3,440

Delivery service only

1,970

1,798

5,270

5,631

Commercial

Power supply and delivery service

778

649

2,174

1,933

Delivery service only

2,632

2,589

7,153

7,230

Industrial

Power supply and delivery service

427

403

1,330

1,288

Delivery service only

2,630

2,732

7,750

7,920

Other

127

119

394

386

Ameren Illinois total

9,884

9,489

27,834

27,828

Eliminate affiliate sales

(110)

(17)

(206)

(67)

Ameren Total from Continuing Operations

21,324

21,013

60,920

60,832

Electric Revenues (in millions):

Ameren Missouri

Residential

$

494

$

436

$

1,179

$

1,130

Commercial

428

393

1,004

956

Industrial

151

152

370

373

Off-system

53

54

142

137

Other

25

41

57

100

Ameren Missouri total

$

1,151

$

1,076

$

2,752

$

2,696

Ameren Illinois

Residential

Power supply and delivery service

$

164

$

130

$

382

$

353

Delivery service only

125

91

288

245

Commercial

Power supply and delivery service

81

65

188

180

Delivery service only

75

55

177

143

Industrial

Power supply and delivery service

20

18

59

68

Delivery service only

12

11

40

31

Other

63

75

182

142

Ameren Illinois total

$

540

$

445

$

1,316

$

1,162

ATXI

Transmission services

$

19

$

10

$

56

$

29

Eliminate affiliate revenues

(10)

(8)

(31)

(23)

Ameren Total from Continuing Operations

$

1,700

$

1,523

$

4,093

$

3,864

 

AMEREN CORPORATION (AEE)

OPERATING STATISTICS FROM CONTINUING OPERATIONS

Three Months Ended

Nine Months Ended

September 30,

September 30,

2015

2014

2015

2014

Electric Generation - kilowatthours (in millions):

Ameren Missouri

11,424

11,688

32,776

33,720

Fuel Cost per kilowatthour (in cents):

Ameren Missouri

1.970

1.951

1.884

1.919

Gas Sales - dekatherms (in thousands):

Ameren Missouri

2,445

2,257

13,265

13,550

Ameren Illinois

24,560

23,823

123,618

130,134

Ameren Total

27,005

26,080

136,883

143,684

September 30, 2015

December 31, 2014

Common Stock:

Shares outstanding (in millions)

242.6

242.6

Book value per share

$

28.91

$

27.67

Capitalization Ratios:

Common equity

49.2

%

48.7

%

Preferred stock

1.0

%

1.0

%

Debt, net of cash

49.8

%

50.3

%

 

SOURCE Ameren Corporation



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