Despite otherwise strong performance across Dominion Energy’s business segments, unusually mild weather in Virginia and South Carolina during the first quarter reduced the company’s overall earnings, management said Friday.
Heating degree days were 5% below normal in Virginia and 19% under in South Carolina, leading to a reduction in utility earnings of about 6 cents/share. Dominion still recognized total operating earnings of $1.16/share, which is above the midpoint of its guidance range.
"Utility fundamentals across our premier electric and gas operations continue to be strong in terms of sales volume and customer growth,” CEO Tom Ferrell said. "In recent weeks, we celebrated the one-year commercial in-service anniversary of the Cove Point liquefaction facility as well as the agreement in Connecticut that will allow our Millstone power station to continue to deliver critical, zero-carbon energy for many years to come.”
In its first year, the Dominion Energy Cove Point liquefied natural gas export facility liquefied more than 200 Bcf and met more than 90% of customer nominations, a success rate that improved to 100% during the first quarter, management said.
Total first quarter losses were $680 million (86 cents/share), compared with net income of $503 million (77 cents) in 1Q2018.
For the second quarter, Dominion is initiating guidance of 70-80 cents/share. It also affirmed its expectation for full-year operating earnings of $4.05-4.40/share.
Ferrell took time during Friday’s quarterly earnings call to pay respects to an employee killed in April 10 explosion that occurred in Durham, NC, after a third-party contractor installing fiber hit and ruptured a gas line. Fifteen others were injured after the contractor hit a two-inch gas line under a sidewalk, causing the explosion that also damaged five buildings.