AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS ) reported its "strongest quarterly earnings per share in the company's history" today. The natural gas utility's Q1 2014 adjusted earnings per share (EPS) clocked in at $1.37, a full $0.13 above last year's first quarter earnings.
"As previously announced, AGL Resources' first quarter 2014 results were driven by strong commercial activity in our wholesale services segment and relate primarily to our transportation and storage positions in the Northeast and Midwest regions," said John Somerhalder II, chairman, president, and CEO. "Importantly, due to our strategic positioning of these non-regulated assets, we expect to generate savings for our regulated utility customers where we have asset management agreements in place during what was one of the coldest winters on record. In addition, we benefited from colder-than-normal weather across our distribution and retail businesses in the first quarter of 2014 and maintained our track record of strong expense discipline."
Taking a closer look at operations, AGL saw its distribution segment EBIT go from $218 million in Q1 2013 to $239 million this latest quarter. Retail operations added on $12 million to hit $82 million, while midstream operations took a $5 million dip into the red to -$3 million. Wholesale services, the hero of the hour, soared $278 million to reach $293 million for Q1 2014.
AGL Resources, hit the newsstands earlier this month when it announced it would sell its Tropical shipping business for $220 million. This sell-off, combined with today's top-notch earnings report, has given AGL Resources, the confidence to raise its earnings guidance. From a previous range of $2.70-$0.280 per share, AGL Resources, is upping its diluted EPS (excluding its major wholesale services growth) estimate range to $2.80-$2.90.