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Warmer weather, low prices hit AGL Resources' Q1 earnings

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Warmer weather, low prices hit AGL Resources' Q1 earnings

on May 4reported first-quarter 2016 net income attributable to the company of $182million, or $1.51 per share, compared to $193 million, or $1.62 per share, inthe year-ago quarter.

The companyalso reported net income excluding merger expenses and wholesale services of$157 million, or $1.30 per share, compared to $159 million, or $1.34 per share,in the same period last year. The S&P Capital IQ consensus normalized EPSestimate for the first quarter was $1.55.

Earningsbefore interest and taxes, excluding merger expenses, amounted to $354 millionin the first quarter of 2016, compared to $367 million in the prior-yearperiod. The quarter-over-quarter decrease in EBIT was attributed to lower commercialactivity due to lower price volatility in AGL's wholesale services segment.Warmer weather in 2016 compared to 2015 also impacted the first-quarter resultsin comparison to the year-ago period.

EBIT fordistribution operations rose to $234 million, compared to $228 million in theyear-ago quarter, while EBIT for retail operations declined to $80 million,compared to $87 million in the same period last year. EBIT for the wholesaleservices also fell to $44 million, compared to $56 million in the year-agoquarter. As for the EBIT for the midstream operations segment, AGL reported aloss of $1 million, compared to a loss of $2 million in the prior-year period.

Operatingrevenues for the first quarter totaled $1.33 billion, compared to $1.72 billionin the prior-year period.

"Despitewarmer-than-normal weather in the first quarter of this year, performance ateach business segment surpassed our expectations driven by our infrastructureinvestment programs, higher customer usage, lower expenses and an effectiveweather hedging program," said Andrew Evans, president and CEO of AGLResources.

AGL isinvolved in a pending mergerwith Southern Co.,which is scheduled to close in the second half of 2016.