Dominion Resources Earnings Beat on Top Line, Miss on Bottom

Dominion Resources (NYSE: D  ) reported fourth-quarter 2013 earnings today, beating on the top line but missing on the bottom.

The utility pulled in operating revenue of $3.2 billion for the three-month period, beating estimates by 4.8%. But although Dominion boosted sales, it kept less than expected as profit. Fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share clocked in at $0.80, $0.08 below analyst estimates.

For fiscal 2013, Dominion Resources' operating earnings were $3.25 per share, significantly above 2012 earnings of $3.05 per share.

"Dominion faced a number of challenges in 2013 and we overcame nearly all of them to produce operating earnings that were within our guidance range," said Chairman, President, and CEO Thomas Farrell in a statement today. Farrell pointed to lower operations and maintenance expenses, reduced taxes, and asset additions from its Utica Shale Blue Racer midstream investment  as positives for this latest report.

Farrell added:

We continue to refine our business model by focusing our capital on regulated or long-term contracted businesses and assets. To that end, we expect to grow our portfolio of contracted solar projects by nearly 250 megawatts and are in active discussions with multiple parties to achieve this. We anticipate these projects coming on line in both 2014 and 2015. We also have elected to exit the electric component of our unregulated retail energy marketing business. The sale process is under way and we expect to have the transaction complete in the next several months.

All these changes will contribute to the company's expected 2014 operating earnings range of $3.35-$3.65 per share, which fell in line with analyst expectations. Dominion Resources affirmed its long-term earnings growth of 5%-6% per share.

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