Central Vermont Public Service (NYSE: CV) reported today consolidated earnings of $21 million, or $1.66 per diluted share of common stock, for 2010, compared to $20.7 million, or $1.74 per diluted share of common stock, for the same period in 2009. The lower 2010 earnings per diluted share of common stock are due to the completion of its common stock at-the-market program (’ATM’ see below). Other operating expenses decreased $4 million, comprised principally of a decrease in transmission expenses of $8.9 million, resulting from higher NOATT reimbursements, partially offset by higher rates from ISO-NE. Under the provisions of our alternative regulation plan, changes in transmission costs are subject to true-up in rates so there is no bottom-line impact. Other operating expenses included a reduction in reserves for uncollectible accounts of $2.1 million primarily due to a large customer bankruptcy in 2009 and subsequent recovery in 2010. These decreases were partly offset by increased service restoration costs of $5.6 million, of which $3.4 million of major storm costs were deferred under our alternative regulation plan; increased employee benefit costs of $1.2 million; increased environmental reserves and insurance costs of $0.9 million; increased depreciation expense of $0.6 million; increased property and other taxes of $0.7 million; and increased production fuel costs of $0.5 million. Interested parties may listen to the conference call live on the Internet by selecting the “CVPS 2010 Year End Earnings Call’ link on the “Investor Relations” section of the company’s website at www.cvps.com(link is external). An audio archive of the call will be available later that day at the same location or by dialing 1-877-660-6853 within the U.S. or internationally by dialing 1-201-612-7415 and entering Account 286 and Conference ID 365459. 341,925 21,098 Resale revenue decreased due to lower 2010 contract prices associated with the sale of our excess energy, and a decrease in volumes sold due to the scheduled refueling outages at the Vermont Yankee plant and Millstone Unit #3. The provision for rate refund is primarily the net deferrals and refunds of over- or under-collections of power, production and transmission costs as required by the power cost adjustment clause within our alternative regulation plan. This increase included the unfavorable impact of $3.6 million of net deferrals and refunds in 2010 vs. the unfavorable impact of $1.7 million of net deferrals and refunds in 2009. The increase in retail revenue primarily resulted from a 5.58 percent base rate increase, effective January 1, 2010, in addition to a resurgence of retail demand in the second half of 2010. Other operating revenue increased primarily due to higher levels of mutual aid performed for other utilities in 2010 and the sale of renewable energy credits. $20,586 1,511 Condensed Income statement Dividends declared on preferred stock 2,286 $2,676 $0.92 $0.18 Per common share data $1.66 Earnings per share for 2010 reflect the impact of shares issued under our ATM program. From April to December 2010, CV sold an aggregate of 1,498,745 shares in open market trading and direct placements under this program for aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $30.6 million. The sale of shares under this program has been completed. The net proceeds of the offering were used for general corporate purposes. 2011 Earnings GuidanceCV anticipates annual 2011 earnings to be in the range of $1.60 to $1.75 per diluted share. The earnings range reflects an approved retail rate increase of 7.46 percent effective January 1, 2011 and an allowed rate of return of 9.18 percent in 2011, down from 9.59 percent in 2010. 2010 2,490 38,485 Higher purchased power expense $0.18 Twelve Months 40,736 368 Total operating expense Higher equity in earnings of affiliates $1.74 0.03 Total operating revenues 11,335 $710,746 324,470 Central Vermont Public Service Corporation ‘ Consolidated 2010 results compared to 2009Operating revenue decreased $0.2 million, including a $16.3 million decrease in resale revenue and a $1.9 million decrease in the provision for rate refund, offset by a $16.9 million increase in retail revenue and a $1.2 million increase in other operating revenue. (2,183) 2010 vs. 2009 2,180 (Lower) higher other income, net 44,084 $2,069 Year-over-Year Effects on Earnings : $1.66 11,764,277 $272,728 ‘We continue to make steady progress,’ Executive Chairman, Bob Young said. ‘Increased demand in the second half, attributable to warmer weather during the summer and some easing of the economic problems of the past couple of years, helped significantly. Earnings Release Refer to our 2010 Form 10-K for additional informationForward-Looking StatementsStatements contained in this press release that are not historical fact are forward-looking statements intended to qualify for the safe-harbors from the liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Statements made that are not historical facts are forward-looking and, accordingly, involve estimates, assumptions, risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. Actual results will depend, among other things, upon the actions of regulators, performance of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, effects of and changes in weather and economic conditions, volatility in wholesale electric markets, volatility in the financial markets, and our ability to maintain our current credit ratings. These and other risk factors are detailed in CV’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings. CV cannot predict the outcome of any of these matters; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such indicated results will be realized. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements that speak only as of the date of this press release. CV does not undertake any obligation to publicly release any revision to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release. Reconciliation of Earnings Per Diluted Share $294,406 2009 Earnings per diluted share 4,276 $0.92 Income tax (benefit) expense (0.18) Earnings per share of common stock – diluted 5,317 3 323,210 Supplemental financial statement data 0.20 86,953 Equity in earnings of affiliates increased $3.6 million, principally due to the return on the $20.8 million investment we made in Transco in December 2009. 2010 Dividends declared per share of common stock (0.04) 0.01 0.04 $188,300 $277,529 $71,997 Average shares of common stock outstanding – diluted 11,705,518 Resale sales (3,598) $0.92 Lower operating revenue 13,027 0.16 6,236 Purchased power expense increased $0.6 million over the same period in 2009 primarily due to increased purchases from independent power producers. Balance sheet (1,689) Other 3,203 $632,152 13,160 Other (includes income tax adjustments, impact of additional common shares and various items) 156,151 (91,405) Equity in earnings of affiliates increased $1 million for the same reasons described above. (Higher) lower taxes other than income 342,098 Operating expenses: Purchased power – affiliates and other 2010 vs. 2009 $129,733 42,042 37,957 13,194,390 5,241 157,982 Other operating expenses decreased $5.8 million, largely due to the $4.3 million decrease in transmission expenses primarily resulting from higher NOATT reimbursements, and a reduction in reserves for uncollectible accounts of $1.2 million primarily due to a large customer bankruptcy in 2009 and subsequent recovery in 2010. Changes in transmission expense are subject to true-up in rates so there is no bottom-line impact. Cash used for investing activities 81,121 2,091 13,343 3,802 1,078 $201,611 (0.07) Lower transmission expenses 160,774 0.03 92 (561) 11,560 Fourth quarter 2010 results compared to 2009Fourth quarter operating revenue decreased $1.4 million for many of the same reasons described above. $5,225 2009 $231,423 Equity in earnings of affiliates 20,749 4,468 84,667 17,472 $20,381 (5,942) 12,370,486 2010 Common Stock IssuanceOn January 15, 2010, we filed a Prospectus Supplement with the SEC, noting that we entered into an equity distribution agreement that allowed us to issue up to $45 million of common equity under an ATM continuous offering program. 5,033 Income tax expense (0.02) (Higher) lower maintenance expenses (excludes exogenous major storms) Other income: 17,455 Common stock equity ‘Vermont saw a decrease of roughly 1 percent in its unemployment rate in 2010, and we are seeing signs of an improving economy,’ Young said. ‘In the meantime, we will continue to focus on providing exemplary customer service, reliability and storm management. We firmly believe that CV’s value to investors is intrinsically tied to the value we create for our customers.’ 0.05 2009 (Higher) lower other operating expenses (excludes exogenous deferral) Interest expense 2,953 $0.23 $76,993 Fourth Quarter 54,279 CV reported fourth-quarter 2010 consolidated earnings of $5.3 million, or 40 cents per diluted share of common stock, compared to $2.2 million, or 18 cents per share, for the same period in 2009. ANNUAL REPORT (52,931) Cash provided by financing activities 20,954 2,753 $2,069 $1.74 92 $0.92 (0.16) Earnings available for common stock $0.40 7,545 $0.18 (7,117) WebcastCV will host an earnings teleconference and webcast on March 16, 2011, beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. At that time, CV President and CEO Larry Reilly, Executive Chairman Robert Young and Chief Financial Officer Pamela Keefe will discuss the company’s financial results, as well as progress made toward achieving the company’s long-term strategy. Other, net $0.40 Twelve Months Ended December 31 $1.66 (dollars in thousands, except per share amounts) $0.00 About CVCV is Vermont’s largest electric utility, serving approximately 159,000 customers statewide. CV’s non-regulated subsidiary, Catamount Resources Corporation, sells and rents electric water heaters through a subsidiary, SmartEnergy Water Heating Services. Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period Dividends paid per share of common stock 40,091 (0.01) Three Months Ended December 31 11,697,392 (0.13) 11,660,170 11,979 Other operating expenses 368 18,888 Cash provided by operating activities 15,059 11,482 12,405,866 744 Operating revenues: $2,088 Purchased power expense increased $2.8 million, including a $9 million increase in short-term purchases, due to higher retail load and higher replacement power requirements, largely offset by a $6.4 million decrease in purchases under long-term contracts, due to the extended scheduled refueling outage at the Vermont Yankee plant and lower capacity costs from Hydro-Quebec. $0.23 85,589 Investments in affiliates (1,632) 0.43 $0.40 $171,514 492 Total assets (5,640) Total other income Other income, net decreased $0.4 million, largely due to changes in the cash surrender value of variable life insurance policies included in our Rabbi Trust. $1.75 38,294 Earnings per share of common stock – basic Long-term debt (excluding current portions) $0.00 53,527 (0.05) 2010 Earnings per diluted share Cash Flows 13,144,056 $6,722 Net income (0.11) (0.04) 160,195 Average shares of common stock outstanding – basic Provision for rate refund 2,647 Retail sales Cash and cash equivalents at end of period Utility operating income Other income, net increased $0.7 million, largely due to higher non-utility revenues and higher interest and dividend income. Form 10-KOn Tuesday, March 15, 2011, the company filed its annual 2010 Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission. A copy of that report is available on our web site, www.cvps.com(link is external) , under the “Investor Relations” section. Please refer to it for additional information regarding our condensed consolidated financial statements, results of operations, capital resources and liquidity.
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Scan The Skies This SeptemberIf Vic Laubach doesn’t have to work and the rain holds off, he is probably at Rockfish Gap, Milepost 0 on the Blue Ridge Parkway counting birds of prey.“When raptors migrate,” explains Laubach, Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch Coordinator, “they all follow common paths, and we can get good population counts.”The same mountain ridges that give us big views act as “leading lines” for migration, providing raptors, like hawks, eagles, vultures, and falcons, the weather conditions needed for long-distance travel. If you’re a bird traveling all the way to South America, says Laubach, “you don’t want to flap your wings the whole time.” Instead, many raptors “kettle” in mesmerizing circles of invisible columns of rising hot air called thermals or soar along slopes when northwesterly winds collide with northeast-southwest ridgelines.August begins with a trickle of birds. Numbers peak for two weeks in September, when thousands of broad-winged hawks can pass in one day. Diversity peaks in October and November, with high numbers of vultures, eagles, sharp-shinned hawks and red-tailed hawks. All that data is compiled with the Hawk Migration Association of North America alongside the data from hundreds of other volunteer hawk watch locations.“We hope it’s [data] being used by scientists,” says Laubach. The reality, he continues, is that data shows downtrending raptor populations resulting from “loss of habitat and food sources,” and those issues will likely be further impacted by climate change. Some changes, however, are more interesting than concerning, like rebounding bald eagle populations and more Mississippi kite sightings.There’s certainly no shortage of places to sit back and watch the skies, but here are five places, north to south, where every fall is hawkwatch season.Hawk Mountain SanctuaryKempton, PAA cornerstone of raptor conservation, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary was actually once a hawk hunting ground. Today, the North Lookout at the 2,600-acre preserve is a well-known (read: crowded) hawk watch, so hike to East Rocks instead. Start at the Visitor Center, making a 4-mile loop using the Lookout, Skyline, River of Rocks, and Golden Eagle trails.Rockfish Gap Hawk WatchAfton, VALocated at the Inn at Afton along Blue Ridge Parkway, Laubach sees Rockfish Gap as an accessible option. “Anyone can drive up and look up” to see passing raptors, and volunteers are regularly available to share spotting scopes and information. Laubach enjoys October when diversity means “you could see anything” and the weather starts to cool.Hanging Rock Tower RaptorObservatory, Union, WVHanging Rock Tower, the only official hawk watch site in West Virginia, is high atop Peters Mountains (elevation 4,073’) along the almost-finished, 330-mile Allegheny Trail. The 2-mile round trip hike from Limestone Hill Road to the tower is steep, but you’ll be rewarded with 360-degree views and a small, dedicated group of hawkwatchers. Post hawkwatch, stay for the sunset.Mahogany Rock OverlookSparta, NCNo hike necessary at Mahogany Rock Overlook (Milepost 235) where the Blue Ridge Birders set up in the grassy pull off with an almost 360-degree view. Thanks to a few dedicated volunteers, this site became North Carolina’s first official hawk watch in 1986. It’s still a great place to stop and learn a little from regulars.Caesars Head State ParkCleveland, SCThe “Wing Nuts” of the Greenville County Bird Club spend fall hawkwatching at 3,226-foot Caesars Head and its 180-degree view into the South Carolina Piedmont. The Main Overlook is accessible by a short walk from the parking area, where Tim Lee, Naturalist at South Carolina’s Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, recommends looking north back over the ridge to track raptors as they pass over.