OTTAWA (dpa-AFX) - Electric and gas utility Fortis Inc. (FTS, FTS.TO) reported Wednesday that its first-quarter net earnings attributable to equity shareholders were C$355 million or C$0.76 per share, higher than last year's C$312 million.
Adjusted net earnings attributable to equity shareholders were C$360 million or C$0.77 per share, compared to C$315 million or C$0.68 per share a year ago.
On average, 14 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of C$0.75 per share. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
The company said the growth in earnings per share was driven primarily by increased rate base and higher earnings in Arizona.
Looking ahead, the company said its outlook remains positive and that it affirms 6 percent dividend growth guidance.
Fortis expects long-term growth in rate base will support earnings growth and the annual dividend growth guidance of approximately 6 percent through 2025.
Further, the company's $19.6 billion five-year capital plan is expected to increase midyear rate base from $30.5 billion in 2020 to $36.4 billion by 2023 and $40.3 billion by 2025. This would translate into three- and five-year compound annual growth rates of approximately 6.5 percent and 6.0 percent, respectively.
Beyond the five-year capital plan, Fortis continues to pursue additional energy infrastructure opportunities.
Further, the company plans to reduce corporate-wide carbon emissions by 75 percent by 2035, which represents avoided emissions equivalent to taking approximately 2 million cars off the road in 2035 compared to 2019 levels.
Upon achieving this target, the company expects 99 percent of its assets will be dedicated to energy delivery and carbon-free generation.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX
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