CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwired) -- 04/25/13 -- AltaGas Ltd. (AltaGas) (TSX: ALA) (TSX: ALA.PR.A) today reported normalized net income applicable to common shares was $55.5 million ($0.53 per share) for the three months ended March 31, 2013, compared to $40.1 million ($0.45 per share) for the same period 2012. Net income applicable to common shares reported was $49.0 million ($0.46 per share) for the three months ended March 31, 2013, compared to $41.3 million ($0.46 per share) for the same period 2012.
AltaGas also announced today that the Board of Directors has approved a dividend of $0.125 per common share for the May 2013 dividend, equivalent to $1.50 per common share on an annualized basis, an increase of 4.2 percent.
"We are pleased to report strong first quarter earnings driven by our diversified portfolio of energy infrastructure assets including our new utilities in the United States," said David Cornhill, Chairman and CEO of AltaGas. "The increase in our dividend is a reflection of the stable and predictable cash flow growth we are starting to realize from our recent growth and it is a key part of the overall value proposition that we offer our shareholders."
Normalized EBITDA increased 59 percent to $145.8 million for first quarter 2013 compared to $91.6 million in first quarter 2012. Normalized funds from operations increased 64 percent to $122.4 million ($1.16 per share) for first quarter 2013 compared to $74.7 million ($0.83 per share) for first quarter 2012.
Results in the first quarter were primarily driven by the August 30, 2012 acquisition of Semco Holding Corporation (SEMCO), natural gas utilities in Alaska and Michigan, which performed as expected on a weather normalized basis. Results from AltaGas' Utilities segment are seasonal in nature as natural gas distribution utilities earn most of their revenue in first and fourth quarters of the year as a result of delivering natural gas to customers during the heating season.
First quarter results also benefited from the addition of the Gordondale and Co-stream gas processing facilities, the Blair Creek expansion, the addition of new biomass and gas fired power generation assets and rate base growth at the Alberta and Nova Scotia utilities. These increases were partially offset by lower contribution from sale of NGLs, lower power prices realized in Alberta primarily due to an unplanned outage at Sundance 3, and lower power generated at the Bear Mountain wind park (Bear Mountain).
On January 28, 2013, AltaGas and Idemitsu Kosan Co., Ltd. (Idemitsu) signed an agreement to form the AltaGas Idemitsu Joint Venture Limited Partnership (AltaGas Idemitsu LP). AltaGas Idemitsu LP plans to pursue opportunities to develop long term natural gas supply and sales arrangements to meet the growing demand for natural gas in Asia. AltaGas Idemitsu LP is undertaking feasibility studies for the development and construction of liquefaction facilities as part of the proposed project to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to markets in Asia. AltaGas Idemitsu LP also plans to pursue opportunities to develop a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG or propane) export business including logistics, plant refrigeration and storage facilities.
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