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Energy company Dominion Resources' posts 4Q loss

Thursday - 1/31/2013, 12:34pm  ET

AP Business Writer

RICHMOND, Va. - Dominion Resources Inc. posted a fourth-quarter loss on costs related to certain power stations the company has put up for sale, the planned shutdown of one of its nuclear power stations and other charges.

The energy provider said Thursday it lost $380 million, or 66 cents per share, for the period ended Dec. 31, compared with a profit of $201 million, or 35 cents per share, a year ago.

Operating earnings, which Dominion uses as its primary performance measurement, grew 19 percent to 69 cents per share, matching analyst estimates.

The Richmond, Va.-based company recorded $780 million in charges in the quarter associated with fossil fuel-fired merchant power stations in the Midwest and the Northeast that Dominion decided to market for sale, the planned shutdown of its Kewaunee nuclear power plant in Wisconsin and storm restoration costs in its Virginia and North Carolina service areas.

Revenue grew 1 percent to $3.17 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet expected $3.77 billion.

Dominion also said it anticipates full-year 2013 operating earnings between $3.20 and $3.50 per share. Analysts expect $3.37 per share.

For the full year, the company said it earned $581 million, or $1.01 per share, compared with $1.41 billion, or $2.45 per share, in the year-ago period.

Shares fell 44 cents to $54.08 in morning trading Thursday and have traded between $48.94 and $55.62 per share in the last 52 weeks.

In a news release on Thursday, CEO Thomas F. Farrell II emphasized "significant" accomplishments and progress the company made in 2012 to advance its infrastructure growth.

The company said construction on the first phase of its large gas processing plant in Natrium, W.Va., to service the Marcellus and Utica shale regions is nearing completion and is scheduled for operation during the first quarter of 2013. Dominion's natural gas transportation subsidiary also placed its Appalachian Gateway project, a pipeline between West Virginia and Pennsylvania, into service during the second half of the year.

Construction is proceeding on a 1,329-megawatt gas-fired combined cycle plant in Warren County and is on schedule to start operating in late 2014, Dominion said. Plans also are moving forward for a similar facility in Brunswick County and it expects the plant will begin commercial operation in 2016. Conversions from coal to biomass at several of its power stations also are under way.

Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy and has the nation's largest natural gas storage system. It serves retail customers in 15 states.


Michael Felberbaum can be reached at

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