New Jersey Reports Second-Quarter Fiscal 2022 Results

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 5/5/2022, Location: North America

New Jersey Resources Corporation reported results for the second-quarter of fiscal 2022. Highlights include:
- Consolidated net income of $96.0 million, compared with $149.8 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2021.
- Consolidated net financial earnings (NFE), a non-GAAP financial measure, of $130.2 million, or $1.36 per share, compared with $170.6 million, or $1.77 per share, in the second quarter of fiscal 2021.
- The comparable prior year period included unusually high net financial earnings at Energy Services due to increased natural gas price volatility related to the extreme weather during February 2021.
- Increased fiscal 2022 net financial earnings per share (NFEPS) guidance range to $2.30 to $2.40 from the previously announced range of $2.20 to $2.30.
- Adelphia Gateway is now flowing gas to its South Zone, allowing for at least one large industrial customer in the Philadelphia metro area to replace coal power generation with natural gas.
- Second-quarter fiscal 2022 net income totaled $96.0 million, or $1.00 per share, compared with $149.8 million, or $1.56 per share, during the same period in fiscal 2021. Fiscal 2022 year-to-date net income totaled $207.3 million, or $2.16 per share, compared with $230.9 million, or $2.40 per share, for the same period in fiscal 2021.
- Second-quarter fiscal 2022 NFE totaled $130.2 million, or $1.36 per share, compared to NFE of $170.6 million, or $1.77 per share, during the same period in fiscal 2021. Fiscal 2022 year-to-date NFE totaled $196.0 million, or $2.04 per share, compared with $215.3 million, or $2.24 per share, for the same period in fiscal 2021.

Steve Westhoven, President and CEO, stated, "NJR reported strong operating results for the second quarter of fiscal 2022, led by our utility, New Jersey Natural Gas, and Energy Services. Better than expected performance from Energy Services is enabling us to raise our fiscal 2022 NFEPS guidance to a range of $2.30 to $2.40."

Key Performance Metrics
NFE is a measure of earnings based on the elimination of timing differences to effectively match the earnings effects of the economic hedges with the physical sale of natural gas, Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) and foreign currency contracts. Consequently, to reconcile net income and NFE, current-period unrealized gains and losses on the derivatives are excluded from NFE as a reconciling item. Realized derivative gains and losses are also included in current-period net income. However, NFE includes only realized gains and losses related to natural gas sold out of inventory, effectively matching the full earnings effects of the derivatives with realized margins on physical natural gas flows. NFE also may exclude impairment charges associated with equity method investments, which are non-cash charges considered unusual in nature that occur infrequently and are not indicative of the Company's performance for its ongoing operations. For the six months ended March 31, 2022 and 2021, there were no impairments of equity method investments recorded to earnings. Included in the tax effects are current and deferred income tax expense corresponding with the components of NFE.

Fiscal 2022 NFE Guidance:
NJR increased fiscal 2022 NFE guidance to $2.30 to $2.40 per share, subject to the risk and uncertainties identified below under "Forward-Looking Statements." The following chart represents NJR’s current expected contributions from its subsidiaries for fiscal 2022:

In providing fiscal 2022 NFE guidance, management is aware there could be differences between reported GAAP earnings and NFE due to matters such as, but not limited to, the positions of our energy-related derivatives. Management is not able to reasonably estimate the aggregate impact or significance of these items on reported earnings and, therefore, is not able to provide a reconciliation to the corresponding GAAP equivalent for its operating earnings guidance without unreasonable efforts.

New Jersey Natural Gas
New Jersey Natural Gas Company (NJNG) reported second-quarter fiscal 2022 NFE of $102.8 million, compared to NFE of $80.5 million during the same period in fiscal 2021. Fiscal 2022 year-to-date NFE were $153.9 million, compared to NFE of $130.0 million during the same period in fiscal 2021. The increase for both periods was due primarily to higher base rates, which became effective on December 1, 2021.

Customer Growth:
NJNG added 3,579 new customers during the first six months of fiscal 2022, compared with 3,694 during the same period in fiscal 2021. NJNG expects these new customers to contribute approximately $2.9 million of incremental utility gross margin on an annualized basis.

Infrastructure Update:
NJNG's Infrastructure Investment Program (IIP) is a five-year, $150 million accelerated recovery program that began in fiscal 2021. IIP consists of a series of infrastructure projects designed to enhance the safety and reliability of NJNG's natural gas distribution system. In the second quarter, NJNG spent $10.0 million under the program on various distribution system reinforcement projects. On March 31, 2022, the Company filed its first rate recovery request with the BPU for $25.6 million of estimated investments, including AFUDC, from November 30, 2020 through June 30, 2022.

BGSS Incentive Programs:
BGSS incentive programs contributed $6.3 million to utility gross margin in the second-quarter of fiscal 2022, compared with $2.1 million during the same period in fiscal 2021.

Fiscal 2022 year-to-date, these programs contributed $10.1 million to utility gross margin, compared with $6.7 million during the same period in fiscal 2021.

The increase in both periods was due primarily to increased margins from off-system sales, partially offset by the timing differences for storage incentives and lower capacity release volumes.

Energy-Efficiency Programs:
SAVEGREEN invested $24.2 million during the first six months of fiscal 2022 in energy-efficiency upgrades for their customers' homes and businesses. NJNG recovered $12.5 million of its outstanding investments during the first six months of fiscal 2022. On January 26, 2022, the BPU approved the annual SAVEGREEN filing, which will increase annual recoveries by $2.2 million, effective February 1, 2022.

Clean Energy Ventures (CEV)
CEV reported second-quarter fiscal 2022 net financial loss of $6.5 million, compared with net financial loss of $8.9 million during the same period in fiscal 2021. Fiscal 2022 year-to-date net financial loss was $13.3 million, compared with a net financial loss of $19.1 million during the same period in fiscal 2021. The improvement for both periods was due primarily to increased revenue from the sale of SRECs and higher electricity prices.

CEV now has over 680 megawatts (MW) of potential capital deployment through fiscal 2027 in projects under construction, under exclusivity or under contract. However, current policy transitions, interconnect delays, land-use constraints and supply chain issues are temporarily slowing CEV’s ability to deploy capital in the short-term and will delay our previously expected in-service timeline for fiscal year 2022.

Storage and Transportation
Storage and Transportation reported second-quarter fiscal 2022 NFE of $4.6 million, compared with NFE of $4.7 million during the same period in fiscal 2021. Fiscal 2022 year-to-date NFE were $7.6 million, compared with NFE of $8.2 million during the same period in fiscal 2021. The decrease in NFE was due primarily to lower equity in earnings of affiliates, partially offset by higher AFUDC equity at Adelphia Gateway.

Infrastructure Update:
Adelphia Gateway - Adelphia Gateway is an 84-mile pipeline running from Marcus Hook to Martins Creek, Pennsylvania originally built as an oil pipeline, which is now being repurposed to deliver natural gas to the Philadelphia and New Jersey markets. Adelphia Gateway is now flowing gas to its South Zone allowing for Kimberly Clark's mill in Chester, Pennsylvania to replace coal power generation with natural gas. Adelphia Gateway is now 90% complete and the project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Energy Services
Energy Services reported second-quarter fiscal 2022 NFE of $29.9 million, compared with NFE of $96.5 million for the same period last fiscal year. Fiscal 2022 year-to-date NFE were $47.5 million, compared with NFE of $98.0 million during the same period in fiscal 2021. The lower NFE for the second quarter of fiscal 2022 was due primarily to higher natural gas price volatility in February 2021, as a result of cold weather in regions where Energy Services had contracted rights to storage assets, offset by the recognition of revenues from the Asset Management Agreements entered into during fiscal 2021 that became effective during the first quarter of fiscal 2022.

Home Services and Other Operations
Home Services and Other Operations reported second-quarter fiscal 2022 NFE of $0.5 million compared to NFE of $0.7 million for the same period in fiscal 2021. The decrease was due to due primarily to increased O&M for the three months. Fiscal 2022 year-to-date NFE were $0.9 million, compared with NFE of $0.7 million during the same period in fiscal 2021. The increase was due primarily to higher operating income related to an increase in installation revenue.

Expenditures and Cash Flows:
NJR is committed to maintaining a strong financial profile.

- During the first six months of fiscal 2022, capital expenditures were $285.7 million, including accruals, of which $119.3 million were related to NJNG, compared with $257.6 million, of which $188.4 million were related to NJNG, during the same period in fiscal 2021.
- During the first six months of fiscal 2022, cash flows from operations were $330.5 million, compared with cash flows from operations of $356.3 million during the same period of fiscal 2021. The decrease in operating cash flows was due primarily to the reduction in net income due to the outperformance of Energy Services in fiscal 2021.


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