Dominion Resources, (NYSE:D) recently reported second-quarter earnings that were at the high-end of its guidance range. Driving the company's earnings growth were new projects that it continues to place into service. Growth, both organic and acquired, continues to be key theme for the company as it was a major talking point on its second-quarter conference call. Here are five growth drivers its management team detailed on the call.
1. Dominion Generation's growth is on-time and on-budget
CEO Thomas Farrell used most of his prepared remarks on the call detailing the progress the company is making on its various growth projects. He started at Dominion Generation providing investors the following updates on its projects:
- Construction of the 1,358-megawatt combined cycle facility in Brunswick County was about 75% complete through the second quarter. The facility is on-time and on-budget for a mid-2016 commercial operation date.
- Its proposed $1.3 billion 1,588-megawatt Greensville County project, if approved, is expected to achieve commercial operation in December 2018.
- It filed for a 20-megawatt solar facility at its Remington Power Station. This project is the first step in its plan to invest $700 million to build 400 megawatts of utility scale solar projects in Virginia. If approved, the facility will be in service by late 2016.
A full update on Dominion Resources solar initiates can be seen on the following slide.
Overall, Farrell's key theme is that Dominion Generation's growth is diverse and its projects are "on-time and on-budget."
2. Dominion Virginia Power is slow and steady
Farrell then turned his attention to Dominion Virginia Power saying that the company has,
[...] A number of electric transmission projects at various stages of regulatory approval and construction. During the second quarter, $315 million of transmission assets were placed into service, bringing the year-to-date total to $514 million. Electric transmissions capital budget for growth projects, including ... security-related investments will average over $700 million per year through at least the remainder of the decade.
While not a lot of growth is in the pipeline at Dominion Virginia Power, the company does plan to spend a good chunk of money each year on growth and maintenance projects. This will enable the company to continue to generate solid earnings from the business.
3. Natural gas is the key at Dominion Energy
He then turned his attention to its Dominion Energy subsidiary saying that, "Progress on our growth plan ... for the 4 billion cubic feet per day of projects is under way." These projects are detailed on the following slide:
As the slide points out the company has a number of natural gas growth projects currently under development. What's worth noting is that these projects are very balanced between pushing supply out of production basins as well as supplying gas to end-users. Farrell noted that this pull for demand-driven projects should grow saying that, "Looking forward, there is strong interest for further customer-driven projects throughout our service area." Industrywide midstream companies are really seeing a lot of growth potential for more demand-driven projects than supply push projects, so its good to see Dominion capturing this growth because supply growth is slowing down due to lower gas prices.
4. Cove Point LNG is progressing nicely
Farrell also updated investors on the progress of its Cove Point LNG facility saying that it is "approximately 31% complete and is on-time and on-budget." Further details on the project can be found on the slide below.
This is a really important project for the company as it will supply it with decades of cash flow by exporting LNG to the world market.
5. Acquisitions will fuel growth at Dominion Midstream Partners (NYSE:DM)
One other area the company updated was its MLP Dominion Midstream Partners, which continues to deliver solid results. It's an asset the company expects to strategically grow both through drop-down transactions as well as through outside acquisitions.
CFO Mark McGettrick noted that Dominion Midstream Partners recently acquired Dominion Carolina Gas Transmission from Dominion Resources, however, he said that "we do not expect to drop anymore assets into the partnership this year." Instead, the plan is to "continue to actively seek acquisitions to support Dominion Midstream Partners future growth." Further, he noted that, "Interest by other parties has been active and we are optimistic of additional transactions this year." As such the company is sticking with its plan to deliver 22% annual distribution growth for Dominion Midstream Partners investors this year.
Dominion Resources isn't a sleepy utility as it has five specific areas where it is driving future growth. Each area is progressing nicely as it is on-time and on-budget with all of its major projects. As a result, the company expects to continue to generate solid growth for investors over the next few years.