On the top line, AEP's revenue clocked in at $4.6 billion, up $800 million from 2013's first quarter. American Electric Power Co., also managed to translate stronger sales into stronger profit. On the bottom line, adjusted earnings-per-share (EPS) came in at $1.15, $0.35 above Q1 2013 and a full $0.22 higher than analyst expectations.
"Solid regulated business results and strong performance from our competitive energy businesses, bolstered by favorable weather and high power prices, resulted in a very positive first-quarter 2014 performance," said Nicholas Akins, AEP Chairman, President, and CEO in a statement today. "We experienced the coldest temperatures in 35 years during the first quarter, which led to strong residential and commercial demand for the period. Even when this demand is adjusted for weather, we saw improvement across residential and commercial customer classes for the second consecutive quarter. Our generating units performed well during periods of higher wholesale power prices, and our regulated customers benefited from $74 million in off-system sales credits during the quarter," Akins was quoted as saying.
Diving deeper into operating earnings, AEP saw its biggest boosts from its vertically integrated utilities and its generation and marketing business. While smaller in absolute earnings, the company's transmission holding company segment nearly doubled seasonally adjusted sales, up $11 million from Q1 2013 to $24 million:
Akins also assured investors that AEP isn't standing still with its strong results. He said the company is increasing its 2014 transmission investments by $200 million, pushing total allocation up to $1.7 billion.
Looking ahead, AEP expects its strong first quarter to translate to stronger annual earnings. The company upped its 2014 earnings guidance range from $3.20-$3.40 per share to $3.35-$3.55.