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PPL Corporation Reports Third-Quarter 2019 Earnings
- Announces strong third-quarter reported earnings of $0.65 per share and earnings from ongoing operations of $0.61 per share.
- Narrows 2019 earnings from ongoing operations forecast range to $2.35 to $2.45 per share from $2.30 to $2.50 per share.

ALLENTOWN, Pa., Nov. 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) on Tuesday (11/5) announced third-quarter 2019 reported earnings (GAAP) of $475 million, or $0.65 per share, an increase from third-quarter 2018 reported earnings of $445 million, or $0.62 per share.

Reported earnings for the first nine months of 2019 were $1.38 billion, or $1.89 per share, a decrease from $1.41 billion, or $2.01 per share, for the first nine months of 2018.

Adjusting for special items, third-quarter 2019 earnings from ongoing operations (non-GAAP) were $445 million, or $0.61 per share, compared to $422 million, or $0.59 per share, a year ago, a per-share increase of about 3%.

Earnings from ongoing operations for the first nine months of 2019 were $1.38 billion, or $1.88 per share, roughly even compared to $1.32 billion, or $1.88 per share for the first nine months of 2018.

"PPL achieved solid third-quarter financial results and continues to deliver strong operational performance across its regulated utilities," said William H. Spence, PPL's chairman and chief executive officer. "Based on our strong financial performance year-to-date, we have narrowed our 2019 earnings guidance to $2.35 to $2.45 per share, with the midpoint remaining at $2.40 per share."

PPL's prior forecast range for earnings from ongoing operations was $2.30 to $2.50 per share.

"Across our business, we continue to modernize and reshape the grid, investing in infrastructure improvements that will strengthen grid resilience, enable the transition to a cleaner energy future and improve service to our customers," said Spence.

"In the third quarter, we neared completion of a multi-year, approximately $470 million advanced meter replacement project on time and on budget in Pennsylvania. In Kentucky, we deployed additional advanced distribution system control technology and completed construction of a new community solar project. And in the U.K., Western Power Distribution continued to firmly position itself for an expanded role as a distribution system operator."

Looking ahead, the company reaffirmed its expectation of 5% to 6% compound annual earnings growth per share through 2020 based on its original 2018 earnings forecast midpoint of $2.30 per share. In addition, PPL maintained its 2021 earnings forecast range of $2.50 to $2.80 per share. The company indicated that it will continue to monitor macroeconomic factors, including Brexit developments and fluctuations in the currency exchange rates, as it evaluates potential impacts to its earnings projections.

Third-Quarter and Year-to-Date Earnings Details

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.

 

 

 

Third-Quarter and Year-To-Date Earnings by Segment

 

Key Factors Impacting Earnings

In addition to the segment drivers outlined below, PPL's reported earnings for the third quarter of 2019 included net special-item after-tax benefits of $30 million, or $0.04 per share, primarily from foreign currency economic hedges. Reported earnings for the third quarter of 2018 included net special-item after-tax benefits of $23 million, or $0.03 per share, primarily from foreign currency economic hedges.

PPL's reported earnings for the first nine months of 2019 included net special-item after-tax benefits of $7 million, or $0.01 per share, primarily from foreign currency economic hedges. Reported earnings for the first nine months of 2018 included net special-item after-tax benefits of $89 million, or $0.13 per share, primarily from foreign currency economic hedges.

U.K. Regulated Segment

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

Reported earnings and earnings from ongoing operations in the third quarter of 2019 decreased by $0.02 per share compared with a year ago. Factors impacting third-quarter U.K. Regulated segment earnings results included $0.01 per share from the effect of dilution. Excluding dilution, factors driving earnings results included lower foreign currency exchange rates and lower sales volumes, partially offset by higher prices and higher pension income.

Reported earnings in the first nine months of 2019 decreased by $0.12 per share compared with a year ago. Earnings from ongoing operations in the first nine months of 2019 increased by $0.01 per share. Factors impacting nine-month U.K. Regulated segment earnings results included $0.04 per share from the effect of dilution. Excluding dilution, factors driving earnings results included higher prices and higher pension income, partially offset by lower sales volumes.

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 third quarter of 2019 increased by $0.03 per share compared with a year ago. Factors impacting third-quarter Kentucky Regulated segment earnings results included $0.01 per share from the effect of dilution. Excluding dilution, third-quarter Kentucky Regulated segment earnings results included higher retail rates effective May 1, 2019, partially offset by higher depreciation expense.

Reported earnings in the first nine months of 2019 increased $0.03 per share compared to a year ago. Earnings from ongoing operations in the first nine months of 2019 increased by $0.02 per share. Factors impacting nine-month Kentucky Regulated segment earnings results included $0.02 per share from the effect of dilution. Excluding dilution, factors driving earnings results included higher retail rates effective May 1, 2019, and lower income taxes, partially offset by lower sales volumes primarily due to weather, higher depreciation expense and higher interest expense.

Pennsylvania Regulated Segment

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

Reported earnings in the third quarter of 2019 increased by $0.01 per share compared with a year ago. Earnings from ongoing operations in the third quarter of 2019 were even with the third quarter of 2018. Factors driving third-quarter earnings results included returns on additional capital investments in transmission, primarily offset by higher operation and maintenance expense.

Reported earnings in the first nine months of 2019 decreased by $0.01 per share compared to a year ago. Earnings from ongoing operations in the first nine months of 2019 decreased by $0.02 per share compared to 2018. Factors impacting nine-month Pennsylvania Regulated segment earnings results included $0.02 per share from the effect of dilution. Excluding dilution, factors driving earnings results included year-over-year differences in the impact of reduced income taxes in rates due to U.S. tax reform, higher depreciation expense and higher interest expense, offset by returns on additional capital investments in transmission.

Corporate and Other

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

Reported earnings and earnings from ongoing operations in the third quarter of 2019 increased by $0.01 per share compared with a year ago.

Reported earnings in the first nine months of 2019 decreased $0.02 per share, primarily due to higher operation and maintenance costs. Earnings from ongoing operations in the first nine months of 2019 decreased $0.01 per share compared to a year ago.

2019 Earnings Forecast

PPL narrowed its 2019 earnings from ongoing operations forecast to $2.35 to $2.45 per share from $2.30 to $2.50 per share, with the midpoint remaining at $2.40 per share. A breakdown by segment is provided in the table below.      

 

Earnings from ongoing operations is a non-GAAP measure that could differ from reported earnings due to special items that are, in management's view, non-recurring or otherwise not reflective of the company's ongoing operations. PPL management is not able to forecast whether any of these factors will occur or whether any amounts will be reported for future periods. Therefore, PPL is not able to provide an equivalent GAAP measure for earnings guidance.

Reflecting special items recorded through the third quarter, estimated 2019 reported earnings per share would be $2.36 to $2.46 per share. See the table at the end of this news release for a complete reconciliation of PPL's earnings forecast.

PPL projects comparable earnings per share in 2019 compared to last year due primarily to $0.10 of share dilution and an assumed return to normal weather. Absent these factors, PPL believes earnings per share would be higher in 2019. The dilution in 2019 is primarily due to the projected settlement of the remaining 43.25 million shares of common stock under two forward sale agreements completed in May 2018 to address the impacts of U.S. tax reform.

Headquartered in Allentown, Pennsylvania, 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 more than 10 million customers in the U.S. and U.K. With more than 12,000 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 third-quarter 2019 financial results at 11 a.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, Nov. 5. 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 to join the conference: 1634454. Callers can access the webcast link at www.pplweb.com/investors under "Events."

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 may include items such as:

  • Unrealized gains or losses on foreign currency 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 U.S. 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 cyberattack, 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 factors and other matters discussed in 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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