Utility money

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 107 views 

For the second consecutive quarter, Oklahoma City-based OGE Energy Corp. is saying that higher temperatures helped push higher the bottom line for the publicly held company.

Third-quarter net income for the regulated utility was $181.4 million, above the $163.5 million in the 2010 period. Total revenue during the quarter was $1.212 billion, above the $1.125 billion in the 2010 period.

The company reported the earnings Thursday (Nov. 3).

OG&E has more than 786,000 customers in a service territory spanning 30,000 square miles in Oklahoma and western Arkansas, and of OGE Enogex Holdings LLC, a midstream natural gas business with principal operations in Oklahoma. Of its customer base, about 64,700 are in western Arkansas.

For the first nine months of 2011, the company posted net income of $320.4 million, up 20.18% compared to the 2010 period. Total revenue during the first nine months of the year reached $3.03 billion, compared to $2.888 billion in the 2010 period.

Per share earnings of $1.82 (basic) bested the $1.81 that was the consensus of analyst estimates.

"I first want to congratulate all of our members on their outstanding performance during the record heat wave of 2011," Pete Delaney, OGE Energy chairman and CEO, said in the statement. "Our commitment to infrastructure investments at both OG&E and Enogex served us well in delivering reliable service during this very hot summer. We continue to invest in both businesses and are executing our plan to deliver value to customers and shareholders."

• The net income increase was primarily due to hot summer weather — Oklahoma City experienced 52 days of temperatures at or above 100 degrees in the third quarter — higher transmission revenues and new customer growth.

• Enogex’s gross margin on revenues was $114 million in the third quarter, compared with $102 million in the comparable quarter last year. The increase was primarily due to higher gross margins in the transportation and processing businesses.

• OGE Energy projects earnings to be between $3.40 and $3.45 per average diluted share an increase from the previously issued earnings guidance of $3.00 to $3.20 per average diluted share. The primary driver for the increase is higher gross margins at the utility from the extremely hot summer weather experienced in its service territory.

OG&E shares (NYSE: OGE) closed Friday at $52.66, up 28 cents. During the past 52 weeks the share price has ranged from a $53.62 high to a $40.56 low.