Atmos Energy Corporation Reports Earnings for Fiscal 2020 Second Quarter; Reaffirms Fiscal 2020 Guidance | Atmos Energy

Atmos Energy Corporation Reports Earnings for Fiscal 2020 Second Quarter; Reaffirms Fiscal 2020 Guidance

Financial
May 6, 2020

Analysts and Media Contact: Dan Meziere (972) 855-3729

DALLAS (May 6, 2020) - Atmos Energy Corporation (NYSE: ATO) today reported consolidated results for its second fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2020.

Highlights

  • Earnings per diluted share of $3.42 for the six months ended March 31, 2020; $1.95 per diluted share for the second fiscal quarter
  • Consolidated net income of $418.3 million for the six months ended March 31, 2020; $239.6 million for the second fiscal quarter
  • Capital expenditures were $994.7 million for the six months ended March 31, 2020, an increase of 28 percent
  • Approximately 87 percent of capital spending related to system safety and reliability investments    

Outlook

  • Although the impacts of the pandemic remain uncertain, at this time Atmos Energy is not changing guidance for fiscal 2020 earnings per diluted share of $4.58 to $4.73.
  • Capital expenditures are expected to be in the range of $1.85 billion to $1.95 billion in fiscal 2020.
  • The company's Board of Directors has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.575 per common share. The indicated annual dividend for fiscal 2020 is $2.30, which represents a 9.5% increase over fiscal 2019.

“Our second quarter and six months ended March 31, 2020, results reflect the ongoing dedication and commitment of our 4,800 employees to provide our customers safe and reliable natural gas service,” said Kevin Akers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Atmos Energy Corporation.  "As we move into the remainder of our fiscal year, we are positioned to focus on the health and safety of our employees, customers and communities as we execute our proven strategy of safely operating and modernizing our natural gas distribution and transmission system."

Results for the Three Months Ended March 31, 2020

Consolidated operating income increased $33.7 million to $331.4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020, from $297.7 million in the prior-year quarter. Positive rate case outcomes in both segments and customer growth in our distribution segment were partially offset by increased depreciation expense.

Distribution operating income increased $24.5 million to $253.5 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020, compared with $229.0 million in the prior-year quarter. The increase primarily reflects a $28.6 million increase in rates and a $4.5 million increase from customer growth, mostly in the Mid-Tex and Kentucky/Mid-States divisions, partially offset by a $2.5 million increase in employee costs and a $6.4 million increase in depreciation expense due to increased capital investments.

Pipeline and storage operating income increased $9.2 million to $77.9 million for the three months ended March 31, 2020, compared with $68.7 million in the prior-year quarter. This increase is attributable to a $12.9 million increase in rates, due to the GRIP filings approved in fiscal 2019, partially offset by a $2.8 million increase in depreciation expense due to increased capital investments.

Results for the Six Months Ended March 31, 2020

Consolidated operating income increased $50.1 million to $584.2 million for the six months ended March 31, 2020, compared to $534.1 million in the prior year, which primarily reflects positive rate outcomes and customer growth in our distribution business, partially offset by higher operation and maintenance, depreciation and property tax expenses.

Distribution operating income increased $35.4 million to $433.8 million for the six months ended March 31, 2020, compared with $398.4 million in the prior year. The increase reflects a net $56.0 million increase in rates. In addition, customer growth increased $8.5 million, mainly in our Mid-Tex division. These increases were partially offset by a decrease in consumption of $1.5 million, primarily in our Louisiana division, a $6.8 million increase in operation and maintenance expense due primarily to higher employee and information technology costs and pipeline and maintenance activities, as well as a $15.6 million increase in depreciation and property tax expenses associated with increased capital investments.

Pipeline and storage operating income increased $14.7 million to $150.4 million for the six months ended March 31, 2020, compared with $135.7 million in the prior year. This increase is primarily attributable to a $26.6 million increase in revenue from our GRIP filing approved in fiscal 2019, partially offset by a $5.3 million increase in operation and maintenance expense primarily due to well integrity costs and a $5.4 million increase in depreciation expense due to increased capital investments.

Capital expenditures increased $217.1 million to $994.7 million for the six months ended March 31, 2020, compared with $777.6 million in the prior year, due to continued spending for infrastructure replacements and enhancements.

For the six months ended March 31, 2020, the company generated operating cash flow of $633.8 million, a $72.9 million increase compared with the six months ended March 31, 2019. The year-over-year increase reflects the positive cash effects of successful rate case outcomes achieved in fiscal 2019 and working capital changes, primarily as a result of the timing of gas cost recoveries under our purchase gas cost mechanisms.

Our equity capitalization ratio at March 31, 2020 was 58.2%, compared with 59.0% at September 30, 2019. The decrease primarily reflects the effects of higher short-term debt balances as of March 31, 2020 and long-term debt issuances in October 2019.

Conference Call to be Webcast May 7, 2020

Atmos Energy will host a conference call with financial analysts to discuss the fiscal 2020 second quarter financial results on Thursday, May 7, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. The domestic telephone number is 877-407-3088 and the international telephone number is 201-389-0927. Kevin Akers, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Chris Forsythe, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will participate in the conference call. The conference call will be webcast live on the Atmos Energy website at www.atmosenergy.com. A playback of the call will be available on the website later that day.

Forward-Looking Statements

The matters discussed in this news release may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this news release are forward-looking statements made in good faith by the company and are intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used in this news release or any of the company’s other documents or oral presentations, the words “anticipate”, “believe”, “estimate”, “expect”, “forecast”, “goal”, “intend”, “objective”, “plan”, “projection”, “seek”, “strategy” or similar words are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in this presentation, including the risks relating to regulatory trends and decisions, the company’s ability to continue to access the credit and capital markets, and the other factors discussed in the company’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  These factors include the following: the outbreak of COVID-19 and its impact on business and economic conditions; federal, state and local regulatory and political trends and decisions, including the impact of rate proceedings before various state regulatory commissions; increased federal regulatory oversight and potential penalties; possible increased federal, state and local regulation of the safety of our operations; possible significant costs and liabilities resulting from pipeline integrity and other similar programs and related repairs; the inherent hazards and risks involved in distributing, transporting and storing natural gas; the capital-intensive nature of our business; our ability to continue to access the credit and capital markets to execute our business strategy; market risks beyond our control affecting our risk management activities, including commodity price volatility, counterparty performance or creditworthiness and interest rate risk; the concentration of our operations in Texas; the impact of adverse economic conditions on our customers; changes in the availability and price of natural gas; the availability and accessibility of contracted gas supplies, interstate pipeline and/or storage services; increased competition from energy suppliers and alternative forms of energy; adverse weather conditions; increased costs of providing health care benefits, along with pension and postretirement health care benefits and increased funding requirements; the inability to continue to hire, train and retain operational, technical and managerial personnel; the impact of climate change; the impact of greenhouse gas emissions or other legislation or regulations intended to address climate change; increased dependence on technology that may hinder the Company's business if such technologies fail; the threat of cyber-attacks or acts of cyber-terrorism that could disrupt our business operations and information technology systems or result in the loss or exposure of confidential or sensitive customer, employee or Company information; and natural disasters, terrorist activities or other significant events, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond our control.

Accordingly, while we believe these forward-looking statements to be reasonable, there can be no assurance that they will approximate actual experience or that the expectations derived from them will be realized. Further, the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any of our forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 

About Atmos Energy

Atmos Energy Corporation is the nation’s largest fully-regulated, natural gas-only distributor of safe, clean, efficient and affordable energy. As part of our vision to be the safest provider of natural gas services, we are modernizing our business and our infrastructure while continuing to invest in safety, innovation, environmental sustainability and our communities. An S&P 500 company headquartered in Dallas, Atmos Energy serves more than 3 million distribution customers in over 1,400 communities across eight states and manages proprietary pipeline and storage assets, including one of the largest intrastate natural gas pipeline systems in Texas.  Find us online at http://www.atmosenergy.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This news release should be read in conjunction with the attached unaudited financial information.