Skip to main content
PPL Corporation Reports First-Quarter Earnings
- Updates reported earnings forecast range to $2.02 to $2.22 per share, reflecting special items recorded through the first quarter.
- Reaffirms ongoing 2017 earnings forecast range of $2.05 to $2.25 per share.
- Reaffirms projected compound annual earnings per share growth rate of 5 to 6 percent from 2017 through 2020 and targeted dividend growth of 4 percent a year over the same period.

ALLENTOWN, Pa., May 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) on Thursday (5/4) announced first-quarter 2017 reported earnings (GAAP) of $403 million, or $0.59 per share, a decrease from first-quarter 2016 reported earnings of $481 million, or $0.71 per share.

Adjusting for special items, first-quarter 2017 earnings from ongoing operations (non-GAAP) were $425 million, or $0.62 per share, compared with $458 million, or $0.67 per share, a year ago. This decrease was driven primarily by expected lower foreign currency exchange rates and unfavorable weather in Kentucky, partially offset by the effect of the April 1, 2016 price increase in the U.K.

"We remain on track to deliver on our commitments to shareowners in 2017," said William H. Spence, PPL's chairman, president and Chief Executive Officer. "And we remain confident in our ability to deliver our projected long-term earnings and dividend growth as we invest approximately $3 billion a year to build a smarter, more reliable and more secure energy grid and to advance a cleaner energy future."

With the effect of special items recorded through the first quarter, the company's forecast range for 2017 reported earnings is $2.02 to $2.22 per share.

PPL's forecast range for earnings from ongoing operations, reaffirmed today, is $2.05 to $2.25 per share, with a midpoint of $2.15 per share.

Looking forward, PPL said it continues to expect 5 to 6 percent compound annual earnings growth per share from 2017 through 2020, measured against the 2017 ongoing earnings forecast midpoint of $2.15 per share. Spence said this is supported by expected 4 to 6 percent EPS growth in its U.S. utilities and 6 to 8 percent growth in its U.K. operations.

Moreover, Spence said PPL continues to target dividend growth of 4 percent a year through 2020, having delivered on that commitment earlier this year by increasing the company's annualized dividend 4 percent in February from $1.52 per share to $1.58 per share.

The company has significantly reduced its exposure to foreign currency exchange rates through its hedging program. Although the British government formally began its exit from the European Union on March 29, PPL is well-positioned to deliver its projected growth even if the exchange rate were to decline well below current levels.

"Delivering our targeted growth is dependent on executing our low-risk business plan, and that's something we've demonstrated time and again is a strength for PPL," Spence said.

He said PPL's strategic priorities going forward are clear. Deliver industry-leading customer service and reliability. Invest responsibly in a sustainable energy future. Continue to execute PPL's infrastructure plans. Maintain a strong financial foundation. And engage and develop PPL's employees.

 

First-Quarter 2017 Earnings Details

PPL's reported earnings for the first quarter of 2017 included net special-item after-tax charges of $22 million, or $0.03 per share, primarily from foreign currency-related economic hedges. Reported earnings for the first quarter of 2016 included net special-item after-tax benefits of $23 million, or $0.04 per share, primarily from foreign currency-related economic hedges.

As discussed in this news release, 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. See the tables at the end of this news release for a reconciliation of reported earnings to earnings from ongoing operations, including an itemization of special items.

 

 

First-Quarter 2017 Earnings by Segment

 

Key Factors Impacting Earnings

U.K. Regulated Segment
PPL's U.K. Regulated segment primarily consists of the regulated electricity delivery operations of Western Power Distribution (WPD), which serves Southwest and Central England and South Wales.

Reported earnings in the first quarter of 2017 decreased by $0.01 per share compared to a year ago. Earnings from ongoing operations in the first quarter of 2017 increased by $0.06 per share primarily due to higher prices from an April 1, 2016 price increase. In addition, lower results from lower foreign currency exchange rates were offset by lower operation and maintenance expense, including pension expense, and the tax benefits of accelerated pension contributions.

Kentucky Regulated Segment
PPL's Kentucky Regulated segment primarily consists of the regulated electricity and natural gas operations of Louisville Gas and Electric Company and the regulated electricity operations of Kentucky Utilities Company.

Reported earnings and earnings from ongoing operations in the first quarter of 2017 decreased by $0.02 per share compared with a year ago, driven by lower sales volumes due to unfavorable weather.     

Pennsylvania Regulated Segment
PPL's Pennsylvania Regulated segment consists of the regulated electricity delivery operations of PPL Electric Utilities.

Reported earnings and earnings from ongoing operations in the first quarter of 2017 decreased by $0.02 per share compared with a year ago, driven primarily by higher operation and maintenance expense and higher depreciation expense. Higher transmission margins due to additional capital investments were offset by lower peak transmission demand.

Corporate and Other
PPL's Corporate and Other category primarily includes unallocated corporate-level financing and other costs.

The loss in first-quarter reported earnings and earnings from ongoing operations increased by $0.07 per share compared to a year ago. The change resulted primarily from the timing impact of recording annual estimated taxes. This impact is expected to reverse through the remainder of the year.

 

Earnings Forecast

(See the tables at the end of this news release for a reconciliation of reported earnings to earnings from ongoing operations.)

U.K. Regulated Segment
PPL projects lower segment earnings in 2017 compared with 2016 due to a lower assumed foreign currency rate in 2017, lower incentive revenues, higher interest expense and higher depreciation expense, partially offset by lower operation and maintenance expense, including pension expense, and higher revenue from the April 1, 2017 price increase.

The remaining 2017 foreign currency exposure for this segment is 100 percent hedged at an average rate of $1.21 per pound.

Kentucky Regulated Segment
PPL projects relatively flat segment earnings in 2017 compared with 2016, primarily driven by electricity and gas base rate increases, offset by higher operation and maintenance expense and higher depreciation expense.

Pennsylvania Regulated Segment
PPL projects relatively flat segment earnings in 2017 compared with 2016, primarily driven by higher transmission earnings and lower operation and maintenance expense, offset by higher depreciation expense, higher interest expense and higher income taxes.

Corporate and Other
PPL projects costs to be relatively flat in this category in 2017 compared with 2016.

Headquartered in Allentown, Pa., PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) is one of the largest companies in the U.S. utility sector. PPL's seven high-performing, award-winning utilities serve 10 million customers in the U.S. and United Kingdom. With about 13,000 employees, the company is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service and reliability and delivering superior value for shareowners. To learn more, visit www.pplweb.com.

#     #     #

(Note: All references to earnings per share in the text and tables of this news release are stated in terms of diluted earnings per share unless otherwise noted.)

Conference Call and Webcast

PPL invites interested parties to listen to a live Internet webcast of management's teleconference with financial analysts about first-quarter 2017 financial results at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Thursday, May 4. The call will be webcast live, in audio format, together with slides of the presentation. For those who are unable to listen to the live webcast, a replay with slides will be accessible at www.pplweb.com/investors for 90 days after the call. Interested individuals can access the live conference call via telephone at 1-888-346-8683. International participants should call 1-412-902-4270. Participants will need to enter the following "Elite Entry" number in order to join the conference: 7104631.

#     #     #

Management utilizes "Earnings from Ongoing Operations" as a non-GAAP financial measure that should not be considered as an alternative to reported earnings, or net income, an indicator of operating performance determined in accordance with GAAP. PPL believes that Earnings from Ongoing Operations is useful and meaningful to investors because it provides management's view of PPL's earnings performance as another criterion in making investment decisions. In addition, PPL's management uses Earnings from Ongoing Operations in measuring achievement of certain corporate performance goals, including targets for certain executive incentive compensation. Other companies may use different measures to present financial performance.

Earnings from Ongoing Operations is adjusted for the impact of special items. Special items are presented in the financial tables on an after-tax basis with the related income taxes on special items separately disclosed. Income taxes on special items, when applicable, are calculated based on the effective tax rate of the entity where the activity is recorded. Special items include:

  • Unrealized gains or losses on foreign currency-related economic hedges (as discussed below).
  • Gains and losses on sales of assets not in the ordinary course of business.
  • Impairment charges. 
  • Significant workforce reduction and other restructuring effects.
  • Acquisition and divestiture-related adjustments.
  • Other charges or credits that are, in management's view, non-recurring or otherwise not reflective of the company's ongoing operations.

Unrealized gains or losses on foreign currency economic hedges include the changes in fair value of foreign currency contracts used to hedge British-pound-sterling-denominated anticipated earnings. The changes in fair value of these contracts are recognized immediately within GAAP earnings. Management believes that excluding these amounts from Earnings from Ongoing Operations until settlement of the contracts provides a better matching of the financial impacts of those contracts with the economic value of PPL's underlying hedged earnings.

Statements contained in this news release, including statements with respect to future earnings, cash flows, dividends, financing, regulation and corporate strategy, are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Although PPL Corporation believes that the expectations and assumptions reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, these statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from the results discussed in the statements. The following are among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements: market demand for energy in our service territories; weather conditions affecting customer energy usage and operating costs; the effect of any business or industry restructuring; the profitability and liquidity of PPL Corporation and its subsidiaries; new accounting requirements or new interpretations or applications of existing requirements; operating performance of our facilities; the length of scheduled and unscheduled outages at our generating plants; environmental conditions and requirements and the related costs of compliance; system conditions and operating costs; development of new projects, markets and technologies; performance of new ventures; asset or business acquisitions and dispositions; any impact of severe weather on our business; receipt of necessary government permits, approvals, rate relief and regulatory cost recovery; capital market conditions and decisions regarding capital structure; the impact of state, federal or foreign investigations applicable to PPL Corporation and its subsidiaries; the outcome of litigation against PPL Corporation and its subsidiaries; stock price performance; the market prices of equity securities and the impact on pension income and resultant cash funding requirements for defined benefit pension plans; the securities and credit ratings of PPL Corporation and its subsidiaries; political, regulatory or economic conditions in states, regions or countries where PPL Corporation or its subsidiaries conduct business, including any potential effects of threatened or actual terrorism or war or other hostilities; British pound sterling to U.S. dollar exchange rates; new state, federal or foreign legislation, including new tax legislation; and the commitments and liabilities of PPL Corporation and its subsidiaries. Any such forward-looking statements should be considered in light of such important factors and in conjunction with PPL Corporation's Form 10-K and other reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Note to Editors: Visit our media website at www.pplnewsroom.com for additional news and background about PPL Corporation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

News and Financial Alerts

Subscribe to receive timely alerts about company news, financial performance, SEC filings and upcoming events.

Financial Alerts News Alerts