Business News: WEC Energy Group posts second-quarter and first-half results

MILWAUKEE, WI (STL.News) – WEC Energy Group (NYSE: WEC) today reported net income of $235.7 million, or 74 cents per share for the second quarter of 2019 — up from $231 million, or 73 cents per share for the second quarter last year.

For the first six months of 2019, the company recorded net income of $655.8 million, or $2.07 per share — up from $621.1 million, or $1.96 per share in the corresponding period a year ago. ­

Consolidated revenues totaled $4.0 billion for the first six months of 2019, flat compared to revenues for the first half of 2018.

“Our focus on financial discipline and operating efficiency were major factors driving our positive results — despite very mild weather in this year’s second quarter,” said Gale Klappa, executive chairman.

Retail deliveries of electricity — excluding the iron ore mine in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula — were down by 5.9 percent in the second quarter of 2019, compared to the second quarter of 2018.

Residential electricity use dropped by 8.9 percent and electricity consumption by small commercial and industrial customers was 5.2 percent lower.  Electricity use by large commercial and industrial customers — excluding the iron ore mine — was down by 4.1 percent during the second quarter of 2019 compared to the same period last year.

On a weather-normal basis, retail deliveries of electricity during the second quarter of this year — excluding the iron ore mine — decreased by 1.6 percent.

Second quarter natural gas deliveries in Wisconsin, excluding gas used for power generation, fell by 2.9 percent.  On a weather-normal basis, natural gas deliveries rose by 0.7 percent.

At the end of June, the company was serving approximately 11,000 more electric customers and 23,000 more natural gas customers than at the same time a year ago.

The company is raising its earnings guidance for 2019 to a range of $3.50 to $3.53 per share with an expectation of reaching the top end of the range.  This assumes normal weather for the remainder of the year.

Earnings per share listed in this news release are on a fully diluted basis.

Conference call

A conference call is scheduled for 1 p.m. Central time, Monday, Aug. 5.  The call will review 2019 second-quarter earnings and the company’s outlook for the future.

All interested parties, including stockholders, news media and the general public, are invited to listen. Access the call at 877-683-2228 up to 15 minutes before it begins.  The number for international callers is 647-689-5446. The conference ID is 2205159.

Conference call access also is available at wecenergygroup.com.  Under ‘Webcasts,’ select ‘Q2 Earnings.’  In conjunction with this earnings announcement, WEC Energy Group will post on its website a package of detailed financial information on its second-quarter performance.  The materials will be available at 6:30 a.m. Central time, Monday, Aug. 5.

Replay

A replay will be available on the website and by phone after the call.  Access to the webcast replay will be available on the website about two hours after the call.  Access to a phone replay also will be available approximately two hours after the call and remain accessible through Aug. 19, 2019.  Domestic callers should dial (800) 585-8367.  International callers should dial (416) 621-4642.  The replay conference ID is 2205159.