The summary of the past eight quarters reflects the Corporation's continued organic growth, growth from acquisitions, as well as the seasonality associated with its businesses. Interim results will fluctuate due to the seasonal nature of gas and electricity demand and water flows, as well as the timing and recognition of regulatory decisions. Revenue is also affected by the cost of fuel and purchased power and the commodity cost of natural gas, which are flowed through to customers without markup. Given the diversified nature of the Corporation's subsidiaries, seasonality may vary. Most of the annual earnings of the FortisBC Energy companies are realized in the first and fourth quarters. Earnings for the first quarter of 2013 included an extraordinary gain of approximately $22 million after tax upon the settlement of expropriation matters associated with Exploits Partnership. Earnings for the first, second and third quarters of 2012 were reduced by approximately $4 million, $3 million and $0.5 million, respectively, associated with costs incurred related to the pending acquisition of CH Energy Group. During the second quarter of 2012, the FortisBC Energy companies and FortisAlberta received revenue requirements decisions, effective January 1, 2012, the cumulative impacts of which, where such impacts were different from those estimated, were recorded in the second quarter of 2012. Similarly, FortisBC Electric recorded the cumulative impacts of its rate decision, effective January 1, 2012, in the third quarter of 2012 when the decision was received. While not significant, the financial results from the third quarter ended September 30, 2012 reflected the acquisition of TCU in August 2012, financial results from the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2012 reflected the acquisition of the StationPark All Suite Hotel in October 2012 and financial results from the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2011 reflected the acquisition of the Hilton Suites Winnipeg Airport hotel in October 2011. Earnings for the third quarter ended September 30, 2011 included the $11 million after-tax termination fee paid to Fortis by Central Vermont Public Service Corporation ("CVPS").
March 2013/March 2012: Net earnings attributable to common equity shareholders were $151 million, or $0.79 per common share, for the first quarter of 2013 compared to earnings of $121 million, or $0.64 per common share, for the first quarter of 2012. A discussion of the quarter over quarter variance in financial results is provided in the "Financial Highlights" section of this MD&A.
December 2012/December 2011: Net earnings attributable to common equity shareholders were $87 million, or $0.46 per common share, for the fourth quarter of 2012 compared to earnings of $82 million, or $0.44 per common share, for the fourth quarter of 2011. The increase in earnings was primarily due to higher contribution from FortisAlberta, Other Canadian Regulated Electric Utilities and FortisBC Electric, partially offset by decreased non-regulated hydroelectric production in Belize associated with lower rainfall, increased corporate expenses and decreased earnings at the FortisBC Energy companies. Higher earnings at FortisAlberta were driven by rate base growth, net transmission revenue of $2 million recognized in the fourth quarter of 2012 and the rate revenue reduction accrual during the fourth quarter of 2011, reflecting the cumulative impact from January 1, 2011 of the decrease in the allowed ROE for 2011. At Other Canadian Regulated Electric Utilities, improved performance was mainly due to lower effective income taxes at Maritime Electric and the accrual of the cumulative return earned on FortisOntario's capital investment in smart meters. Increased earnings at FortisBC Electric were driven by rate base growth, lower-than-expected finance charges in 2012 and higher pole-attachment revenue, partially offset by the expiry of the PBR mechanism on December 31, 2011. The increase in corporate expenses was largely due to a $3 million non-recurring provision recognized in the fourth quarter of 2012 and lower effective income tax recoveries, partially offset by a foreign exchange gain of $1 million recognized in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to a foreign exchange loss of $1 million recognized in the fourth quarter of 2011, and lower finance charges. At the FortisBC Energy companies, the decrease in earnings was mainly due to the timing of certain operating and maintenance expenses during 2012, lower capitalized AFUDC and lower-than-expected customer additions in 2012, partially offset by rate base growth, higher gas transportation volumes to industrial customers and lower effective income taxes.
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