ITC Reports Second Quarter and Year-to-Date 2014 Results

Aug 06, 2014

NOVI, Mich., Aug. 6, 2014 --

Highlights
  • Second quarter 2014 operating earnings of $0.46 per diluted common share increased over the same period last year; second quarter 2014 reported earnings of $0.34 per diluted common share
  • Operating earnings for the six months ended June 30, 2014 of $0.90 per diluted common share increased over the same period last year; reported earnings for the six months ended June 30, 2014 of $0.78 per diluted common share
  • Capital investments of $430.1 million for the six months ended June 30, 2014
  • Reaffirmed 2014 operating earnings per share guidance of $1.83 to $1.90 per diluted share and capital expenditure guidance of $730 to $840 million
  • Commenced accelerated share repurchase of up to $150 million
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ITC Holdings Corp. (NYSE: ITC) announced today its results for the second quarter and six-month period ended June 30, 2014.

Reported net income for the second quarter, measured in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), was $54.3 million, or $0.34 per diluted common share, compared to $47.4 million or $0.30 per diluted common share for the second quarter of 2013. For the six months ended June 30, 2014, reported net income was $123.5 million, or $0.78 per diluted common share, compared to $97.6 million, or $0.62 per diluted common share for the same period last year.

Operating earnings for the second quarter were $72.7 million, or $0.46 per diluted common share, compared to operating earnings of $63.3 million, or $0.40 per diluted common share for the second quarter of 2013. For the six months ended June 30, 2014, operating earnings were $142.5 million, or $0.90 per diluted common share, compared to operating earnings of $122.1 million, or $0.77 per diluted common share for the same period last year.

ITC invested $430.1 million in capital projects at its operating companies during the six-month period ended June 30, 2014, including $140.8 million at ITCTransmission, $73.9 million at METC, $119.6 million at ITC Midwest and $95.8 million at ITC Great Plains.

"We are very pleased to have delivered another strong quarter, both on the operational and financial front," said Joseph L. Welch, chairman, president and CEO of ITC. "Our performance in the first half of 2014 has positioned the company well to meet our near- and long-term objectives. We remain focused on executing on our plans, which are premised on investing in transmission infrastructure for the benefit of customers while also growing the business to deliver value for our investors."

Operating Earnings
Operating earnings are non-GAAP measures that exclude the impact of after-tax expenses associated with the following items:

1. The Entergy Corporation transaction of approximately $0.2 million for the second quarter of 2014 and $15.9 million, or $0.10 per diluted common share, for the second quarter of 2013. These expenses total $0.7 million for the six months ended June 30, 2014 and $24.4 million, or $0.15 per diluted common share, for the six months ended June 30, 2013.

2. Certain acquisition accounting adjustments for ITC Midwest, ITCTransmission, and METC resulting from the FERC audit order on ITC Midwest issued in May 2012 of approximately $0.1 million for both the second quarter of 2014 and 2013. These expenses also totaled approximately $0.1 million for both the six months ended June 30, 2014 and 2013.

3. Loss on extinguishment of debt associated with the recent cash tender offer and consent solicitation transaction for select bonds at ITC Holdings that we completed in the second quarter of 2014. The impact of this item totaled $18.1 million, or $0.12 per share, for both the second quarter of 2014 and for the six months ended June 30, 2014.

Operating earnings for the second quarter and for the six months ended June 30, 2014 increased by $9.4 million, or $0.06 per diluted common share, and $20.3 million, or $0.13 per diluted common share, compared with the same periods last year. The increases in both periods were largely attributable to higher income associated with increased rate base at our operating companies.

Share Repurchase
On June 20, 2014, ITC announced an accelerated share repurchase of up to $150 million (minimum of $130 million) that is expected to be completed by the end of 2014. Upon announcement, the company also indicated an initial repurchase of approximately 2.9 million shares, which also represents the amount repurchased through June 30, 2014.

Balance Sheet Activities
On June 2, 2014, ITC completed a cash tender offer for approximately $170 million of the 5.875% and 6.375% bonds at ITC Holdings due in 2016 and 2036, respectively. The transaction was funded with a portion of the net proceeds of a new $400 million 10-year bond at ITC Holdings with a coupon of 3.65%.

2014 EPS and Capital Expenditure Guidance
For 2014, ITC is reaffirming its full year operating earnings per share guidance of $1.83 to $1.90. ITC is also reaffirming its 2014 capital guidance of $730 to $840 million, which includes $250 to $285 million for ITCTransmission, $130 to $150 million for METC, $255 to $290 million for ITC Midwest and $95 to $115 million for ITC Great Plains, respectively.

Second Quarter 2014 Operating Earnings Financial Results Detail
ITC's operating revenues for the second quarter of 2014 increased to $263.2 million compared to $229.8 million for the second quarter of 2013. This increase was primarily due to higher revenue requirements attributable to higher rate base at our regulated operating subsidiaries, as well as an increase in regional cost sharing revenues resulting from additional capital projects being placed in-service that have been identified by the Midcontinent ISO (MISO) as eligible for regional cost sharing.

Operation and maintenance (O&M) expenses of $25.8 million were $3.8 million lower than the same period in 2013. This decrease was primarily due to lower vegetation management requirements and a decrease in substation maintenance activities.

General and administrative (G&A) expenses of $30.0 million were $8.0 million higher compared to the same period in 2013. Amounts reported for the second quarter 2014 and 2013 exclude $0.3 million and $21.9 million, respectively, of pre-tax expenses related to the Entergy transaction. This increase was primarily due to higher professional services such as legal, advisory and financial service fees and higher compensation expenses associated with personnel additions.

Depreciation and amortization expenses of $31.3 million increased by $2.0 million compared to the same period in 2013 due to a higher depreciable base resulting from property, plant and equipment additions.

Taxes other than income taxes of $17.1 million were $1.0 million higher than the same period in 2013. This increase was due to 2013 capital additions at our regulated operating subsidiaries, which are included in the tax base for 2014 personal property tax calculations.

Interest expense of $45.8 million increased by $5.8 million compared to the same period in 2013. Amounts reported for the second quarter 2014 and 2013 exclude $0.1 million and $0.4 million, respectively, of pre-tax expenses related to the adjustments to operating earnings. The increase was due primarily to higher borrowing levels to finance capital investments.

The effective income tax rate for the second quarter of 2014 was 37.9 percent compared to 35.9 percent for the same period last year. Amounts reported for the second quarter of 2014 and 2013 exclude approximately $11.1 million and $6.3 million, respectively, associated with adjustments to operating earnings.

Year-To-Date 2014 Operating Earnings Financial Results Detail
ITC's operating revenues for the six months ended June 30, 2014 increased to $521.8 million compared to $447.1 million from the same period last year. This increase was primarily due to higher revenue requirements attributable to higher rate base at our regulated operating subsidiaries, as well as an increase in regional cost sharing revenues due to additional capital projects being placed in-service that have been identified by MISO as eligible for regional cost sharing.

O&M expenses of $50.7 million were $3.5 million lower for the six months ended June 30, 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. This decrease was primarily due to lower vegetation management requirements and a decrease in substation maintenance activities.

G&A expenses of $57.0 million were $11.0 million higher compared to the same period in 2013. Amounts reported for the six months ended June 30, 2014 and 2013 exclude approximately $1.3 million and $32.9 million, respectively, of pre-tax expenses associated with the Entergy transaction. This increase was primarily due to higher professional services such as legal, advisory and financial services fees and higher compensation expenses associated with personnel additions.

Depreciation and amortization expenses of $62.7 million increased by $4.9 million for the six months ended June 30, 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. This increase was primarily due to a higher depreciable base resulting from property, plant and equipment additions.

Taxes other than income taxes of $38.3 million were $5.5 million higher compared to the same period in 2013. This increase was due to capital additions made at our regulated operating subsidiaries, which are included in the tax base for 2014 personal property taxes.

Interest expense of $91.0 million was $12.1 million higher compared to the same period in 2013. Amounts reported for the six months ended June 30, 2014 and 2013 exclude approximately $0.2 million and $0.6 million respectively, of pre-tax expenses associated with the adjustments to operating earnings noted previously. This increase was due primarily to higher borrowing levels to finance capital investments.

The effective income tax rate for the six months ended June 30, 2014 was 38.1 percent compared to 36.3 percent for the same period in 2013. Amounts reported for the six months ended June 30, 2014 and 2013 exclude income taxes of $11.6 million and $9.0 million, respectively, associated with adjustments to operating earnings noted previously.

Second Quarter Conference Call and Webcast
Joseph L. Welch, chairman, president and CEO and Rejji P. Hayes, vice president, treasurer, and interim CFO will discuss the first quarter results in a conference call at 11 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday, August 6, 2014. Individuals wishing to participate in the conference call may dial toll-free 877-644-1296 (domestic) or 914-495-8555 (international); there is no passcode. A listenonly live webcast of the conference call, including accompanying slides and the earnings release, will be available on the company's investor information page. The conference call replay, available through August 10, 2014, can be accessed by dialing 855-859-2056 (toll free) or 404-537-3406, passcode 76875639. The webcast will be archived on the ITC website.

Other Available Information
More detail about second quarter 2014 results may be found in ITC's Form 10-Q filing. Once filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, an electronic copy of our 10-Q can be found at our website, http://investor.itc-holdings.com. Paper copies can also be made available by contacting us through our website.

About ITC Holdings Corp.
ITC Holdings Corp. (NYSE: ITC) is the nation's largest independent electric transmission company. Based in Novi, Michigan, ITC invests in the electric transmission grid to improve reliability, expand access to markets, lower the overall cost of delivered energy and allow new generating resources to interconnect to its transmission systems. ITC's regulated operating subsidiaries include ITCTransmission, Michigan Electric Transmission Company, ITC Midwest and ITC Great Plains. Through these subsidiaries, ITC owns and operates high-voltage transmission facilities in Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma, serving a combined peak load exceeding 26,000 megawatts along 15,000 circuit miles of transmission line. Through ITC Grid Development and its subsidiaries, the company also focuses on expansion in areas where significant transmission system improvements are needed. For more information, please visit ITC's website at www.itc-holdings.com (ITCitc- F).

GAAP v. Non-GAAP Measures
ITC's reported earnings are prepared in accordance with GAAP and represent earnings as reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission. ITC's management believes the company's operating earnings, or GAAP earnings adjusted for specific items as described in the release, provide a more meaningful representation of the company's fundamental earnings power. However, such measures should not be considered in isolation or as substitutes for results prepared in accordance with GAAP.

Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains certain statements that describe our management's beliefs concerning future business conditions, plans and prospects, growth opportunities and the outlook for our business and the electricity transmission industry based upon information currently available. Such statements are "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Wherever possible, we have identified these forward-looking statements by words such as "will," "may," "anticipates," "believes," "intends," "estimates," "expects," "projects" and similar phrases. These forwardlooking statements are based upon assumptions our management believes are reasonable. Such forward looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause our actual results, performance and achievements to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these statements, including, among others, the risks and uncertainties disclosed in our annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and other filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Because our forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions that are subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control or are subject to change, actual results could be materially different and any or all of our forward-looking statements may turn out to be wrong. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made and can be affected by assumptions we might make or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Many factors mentioned in our discussion in this release and in our annual and quarterly reports will be important in determining future results. Consequently, we cannot assure you that our expectations or forecasts expressed in such forward-looking statements will be achieved. Except as required by law, we undertake no obligation to publicly update any of our forward-looking or other statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

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SOURCE ITC Holdings Corp.

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