PPL Corporation on Thursday announced first-quarter 2014 reported earnings of $316 million, or $0.49 per share, a decrease from $413 million, or $0.65 per share in the first quarter of 2013.
Adjusting for special items, quarterly earnings from ongoing operations were $523 million, or $0.80 per share, an increase compared with the first quarter of 2013. For the first quarter of 2013, earnings from ongoing operations were $454 million, or $0.71 per share.
"Our 15 percent increase in earnings from ongoing operations was driven by strong operational performance at all of the business segments, along with the positive effect of weather across our domestic regulated utilities and competitive generation business," said William H. Spence, PPL chairman, president and chief executive officer in a news release.
That strong performance led PPL to increase its 2014 forecast of earnings from ongoing operations to a range of $2.15 to $2.30 per share, with a midpoint of $2.23 per share.
The previous forecast of earnings from ongoing operations was a range of $2.05 to $2.25 per share, with a midpoint of $2.15 per share. The forecast for reported earnings is a range of $1.84 to $1.99 per share, reflecting special items recorded in the first quarter.
"All three regulated businesses outperformed 2013 results, as our capital investments in regulated infrastructure continue to provide benefits to customers and shareowners," Spence said.
"The unusually cold winter weather resulted in increased sales to customers in Pennsylvania and Kentucky, and our competitive generating plants in the PJM Interconnection operated well during the periods of high electricity demand. In the U.K., we benefited from higher rates and bonus revenues that we earned through best-in-class performance."
PPL's reported earnings for the first quarter of 2014 included net special item charges of $207 million, or $0.31 per share, primarily reflecting charges of $0.20 per share for adjusted energy-related economic activity, $0.08 per share for an increase in the accrued liability for U.K. line losses, and $0.02 per share for an impairment following an arbitration decision regarding PPL Montana's Kerr hydroelectric project.
Reported earnings are calculated in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). "Earnings from ongoing operations" is a non-GAAP financial measure that is adjusted for special items.