Reaffirms 2022 Guidance and Confidence in Long-Term Growth Prospects

Moving Forward Expeditiously with Strategic Alternatives Review Process

LAS VEGAS, May 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SWX) today reported first quarter 2022 financial results.  

SOUTHWEST GAS HOLDINGS, INC.

SUMMARY UNAUDITED OPERATING RESULTS

(in millions, except per share items)




Three months ended


Twelve months ended



March 31,


March 31,


2022


2021


2022


2021

Contribution to net income - natural
gas distribution

$       111.8


$       118.7


$       180.2


$       194.2

Contribution to net income - utility
infrastructure services

(23.5)


(0.9)


17.8


84.2

Contribution to net income - pipeline
and storage

16.9


-


16.9


-

Corporate and administrative income

(9.0)


(0.6)


(35.3)


(1.4)

Net income

$         96.2


$       117.2


$       179.6


$       277.0

          Adjustments (1)

10.0


-


46.2


-

Adjusted net income

$       106.2


$       117.2


$       225.8


$       277.0









Basic earnings per share

$         1.58


$         2.04


$         3.00


$         4.90

Diluted earnings per share

$         1.58


$         2.03


$         2.99


$         4.89









Basic adjusted earnings per share

$         1.75


$         2.04


$         3.77


$         4.90

Diluted adjusted earnings per share

$         1.74


$         2.03


$         3.76


$         4.89









Weighted average common shares

60.737


57.600


59.919


56.564

Weighted average diluted shares

60.854


57.679


60.044


56.649


(1) Adjustments for non-recurring expenses associated with MountainWest integration and corporate shareholder engagement, as well as acquisition-related costs for MountainWest and Riggs Distler acquisitions and utility legal accrual in 2021 

In the first quarter of 2022, Southwest Gas delivered:

  • Adjusted consolidated earnings of $1.74 per diluted share (and consolidated earnings of $1.58 per diluted share), compared to consolidated earnings of $2.03 per diluted share for the first quarter of 2021.
  • Adjusted consolidated net income of $106.2 million (and consolidated net income of $96.2 million), compared to consolidated net income of $117.2 million for the first quarter of 2021.
  • A $0.10 (4.2%) increase in the annualized dividend rate.
  • Strategic Alternatives Process to review all strategic alternatives available to maximize value for Southwest Gas stockholders.

"Our first quarter results reflect the impacts of global inflationary headwinds across our portfolio, as well as typical seasonality and business volatility at our infrastructure services business," said Karen S. Haller, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Our businesses are fundamentally strong and poised for long-term value creation despite these short-term impacts. Today we are reaffirming our full-year 2022 guidance and believe we are positioned to deliver the results our stockholders expect."

Reaffirming Financial Guidance

Southwest Gas reaffirms its financial guidance as recently updated:

Natural Gas Distribution Segment Guidance and Outlook:

  • ROE in 2023 and beyond of 8%+;
  • Five-year utility rate base compound annual growth rate of 5% – 7% (2022 – 2026);
  • 5-Year O&M/per customer CAGR of less than 1%;
  • 2022 net income of $200 million to $210 million, which includes COLI earnings of $3 million to $5 million;
  • 2022 capital expenditures of $650 million to $700 million, in support of customer growth, system improvements, and pipe replacement programs; and
  • 5-Year capital expenditures of $2.5$3.5 billion.

Centuri / Utility Infrastructure Services Segment Guidance and Outlook:

  • 2022 revenues of $2.65 billion to $2.80 billion;
  • 2022 run rate EBITDA margin of 11% to 12% (excluding non-recurring costs of the potential separation); and
  • 2022 – 2026 Adjusted EBITDA CAGR of 9% – 11%.

MountainWest Guidance and Outlook:

  • 2022 revenue of $240 million to $245 million;
  • 2022 run rate EBITDA margin of 68% to 72% (excluding non-recurring and overlapping integration costs);
  • Earnings accretion in 2022 on a run rate basis exclusive of non-recurring integration costs; and
  • The Company is now targeting approximately $100 million in incremental growth investment opportunities at MountainWest over the next three years. The Company further expects to construct these projects at an EBITDA build multiple of less than 6x, driving meaningful value creation for stockholders.

Business Segment Highlights

Natural Gas Distribution

The natural gas distribution segment delivered net income of $111.8 million in the first quarter of 2022, compared to net income of $118.7 million in the first quarter of 2021. Coming off a record-setting first quarter in 2021, the natural gas distribution segment will benefit from new rates in Nevada in the second quarter of 2022 and anticipated rate relief in Arizona in early 2023.

Key operational highlights include:

  • Finalized Nevada general rate case resulting in a continuation of the decoupling mechanism and rate relief effective April 2022, underscoring constructive relationship with the regulator;
  • 38,000 new utility customers added during the past 12 months;
  • Increased operating margin by $14 million compared to the first quarter in 2021;
  • $141 million capital investment during the quarter; and
  • $600 million of 4.05% 10-year debt financing completed in March.

Key drivers of the first quarter performance in 2022 as compared to first quarter performance in 2021 include:

  • COLI results declined $4.7 million compared to the first quarter of 2021;
  • O&M expense increased by $13.5 million compared to the first quarter of 2021 due to increased costs associated with customer support systems, employee benefits, insurance and other inflationary impacts;
  • Increased depreciation expense of $3.4 million and increased interest expense of $4.4 million compared to the first quarter of 2021;
  • Timing associated with rate relief:
    • Nevada rate relief began in Q2 2022; and
    • Arizona rate relief anticipated in early 2023.

Centuri / Utility Infrastructure Services

The utility infrastructure services segment had a net loss of $23.5 million in the first quarter of 2022, compared to a net loss of $0.9 million in the first quarter 2021. Infrastructure services results are typically seasonally lower in the first quarter. The first quarter 2021 results included $4.5 million of net income attributable to favorable timing in respect of a change order and selected larger gas projects. Centuri's performance was impacted by the inflationary cost environment and acquisition-related costs, as well as inclement weather in the upper Midwest and Eastern United States that delayed the start of certain large gas utility projects.

Key operational highlights include:

  • Record revenues of $524 million, an increase of 44% compared to the first quarter of 2021 (13% organic business growth);
  • $125+ million contracted off-shore wind support work to begin in second half of 2022; significant pending awards for multi-year performance;
  • Cross-selling award of new 5G datacom work in the Southeast U.S. and new MSA contract for 5G datacom work in the Northeast U.S; and
  • On track to meet full-year 2022 guidance.

Key drivers of Centuri's first quarter performance in 2022 as compared to first quarter performance in 2021 include:

  • Higher fuel, equipment rental, and subcontractor costs;
  • Higher interest and amortization expense; and
  • Inclement weather in upper Midwest and Eastern U.S.

MountainWest

MountainWest reported $16.9 million of net income. MountainWest's results were impacted by $9 million of pre-tax, non-recurring expenses, primarily associated with one-time integration costs and payment of employee benefit costs associated with purchase and sale agreement obligations. After accounting for these non-recurring expenses, MountainWest results were in line with Company expectations. In addition, the Company has identified approximately $100 million of incremental growth investment opportunities over the next three years at MountainWest, which will provide future income growth.

Key operational highlights include:

  • Finalized acquisition and related transaction equity financing;
  • $67 million in recognized revenue; and
  • Contributed $16.9 million to consolidated net income and $23.5 million on an adjusted basis.

Strategic Alternatives Review Process Update

The Southwest Gas Board is moving forward expeditiously with the previously-announced strategic alternatives review process in order to maximize value for all stockholders. Strategic alternatives under consideration include a sale of the Company or its underlying businesses, as well as a spin-off of Centuri, which the Board announced previously. The Board formed a Strategic Transactions Committee (the "Committee"), comprising independent directors with deep regulatory and M&A expertise and experience to lead the process: Anne Mariucci, Carlos Ruisanchez and Jane Lewis-Raymond. Andrew Evans, Russell Frisby, Jr. and Henry Linginfelter will join the Committee following the 2022 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.

The Committee has engaged an independent financial advisor, Moelis & Company LLC, to work with the Company's lead financial advisor, Lazard.

Conference Call and Webcast

Southwest Gas will host a conference call on Monday, May 9, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. ET to discuss its first quarter 2022 results. The associated press releases and presentation slides are available at https://investors.swgasholdings.com/investor-overview.

The call will be webcast live on the Company's website at www.swgasholdings.com. The telephone dial-in numbers in the U.S. and Canada are toll free: (866) 342-8588 or international: (203) 518-9865. The conference ID is 44121. The webcast will be archived on the Southwest Gas website.

Southwest Gas Holdings currently has three business segments:

Southwest Gas Corporation provides safe and reliable natural gas service to over 2 million customers in Arizona, Nevada, and California. 

MountainWest operates over 2,000 miles of highly contracted, FERC-regulated interstate natural gas pipeline providing transportation and underground storage services in the Rocky Mountain region.

Centuri Group, Inc. is a strategic infrastructure services company that partners with regulated utilities to build and maintain the energy network that powers millions of homes and businesses across the United States and Canada.

Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements include, without limitation, statements regarding Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. (the "Company") and the Company's expectations or intentions regarding the future. These forward-looking statements can often be identified by the use of words such as "will", "predict", "continue", "forecast", "expect", "believe", "anticipate", "outlook", "could", "target", "project", "intend", "plan", "seek", "estimate", "should", "may" and "assume", as well as variations of such words and similar expressions referring to the future, and include (without limitation) statements regarding expectations of continuing growth in 2022. In addition, the statements under the heading "Outlook for 2022" that are not historic, constitute forward-looking statements. A number of important factors affecting the business and financial results of the Company could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated in the forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the results of the strategic review being undertaken by the strategic transactions committee of the Company's board of directors, the timing and amount of rate relief, changes in rate design, customer growth rates, the effects of regulation/deregulation, tax reform and related regulatory decisions, the impacts of construction activity at Centuri, whether we will separate Centuri and the impact to our results of operations and financial position from a separation, the potential for, and the impact of, a credit rating downgrade, the costs to integrate MountainWest, future earnings trends, inflation, sufficiency of labor markets and similar resources, seasonal patterns, the cost and management attention of ongoing litigation that the Company is currently engaged in, the costs and effect of stockholder activism, and the impacts of stock market volatility. In addition, the Company can provide no assurance that its discussions about future operating margin, operating income, COLI earnings, interest expense, and capital expenditures of the natural gas distribution segment will occur. Likewise, the Company can provide no assurance that discussions regarding utility infrastructure services segment revenues, EBITDA as a percentage of revenue, and interest expense will transpire, nor assurance regarding acquisitions or their impacts, including management's plans or expectations related thereto, including with regard to Riggs Distler or MountainWest. Factors that could cause actual results to differ also include (without limitation) those discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc.'s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the Company's and Southwest Gas Corporation's current and periodic reports, including our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, filed from time to time with the SEC. The statements in this press release are made as of the date of this press release, even if subsequently made available by the Company on its Web site or otherwise. The Company does not assume any obligation to update the forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time, whether as a result of new information, future developments, or otherwise.

Non-GAAP Measures.  This earnings release contains financial measures that have not been calculated in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. ("GAAP"). These non-GAAP measures include (i) adjusted consolidated earnings per diluted share, (ii) adjusted consolidated net income, and (iii) MountainWest adjusted consolidated net income. Management uses these non-GAAP measures internally to evaluate performance and in making financial and operational decisions. Management believes that its presentation of these measures provides investors greater transparency with respect to its results of operations and that these measures are useful for a period-to-period comparison of results. Management also believes that providing these non-GAAP financial measures helps investors evaluate the Company's operating performance, profitability, and business trends in a way that is consistent with how management evaluates such performance. Adjusted consolidated net income for the three months ended March 31, 2022 includes adjustments to add back expenses related to the MountainWest acquisition and expenses related to the ongoing proxy contest and related stockholder litigation. Management believes that it is appropriate to adjust for expenses related to the MountainWest acquisition because they are one-time expenses that will not recur in future periods. Management believes it is appropriate to adjust for expenses related to the proxy contest and related stockholder litigation because of these matters are unique and outside of the ordinary course of business for the Company. In addition, utility infrastructure adjusted net income and adjusted consolidated net income include adjustments associated with acquisition-related costs and partial-year net loss related to the Riggs Distler acquisition.

Management also uses the non-GAAP measure of operating margin related to its natural gas distribution operations. Southwest recognizes operating revenues from the distribution and transportation of natural gas (and related services) to customers. Gas cost is a tracked cost, which is passed through to customers without markup under purchased gas adjustment ("PGA") mechanisms, impacting revenues and net cost of gas sold on a dollar-for-dollar basis, thereby having no impact on Southwest's profitability. Therefore, management routinely uses operating margin, defined by management as gas operating revenues less the net cost of gas sold, in its analysis of Southwest's financial performance. Operating margin also forms a basis for Southwest's various regulatory decoupling mechanisms. Management believes supplying information regarding operating margin provides investors and other interested parties with useful and relevant information to analyze Southwest's financial performance in a rate-regulated environment. (The included Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc. Consolidated Earnings Digest provides reconciliations for these non-GAAP measures.)

We do not provide a reconciliation of forward-looking Non-GAAP Measures to the corresponding forward-looking GAAP measure due to our inability to project special charges and certain expenses.

Contacts

For investor information, contact: Boyd Nelson, (702) 876-7237, boyd.nelson@swgas.com; or Innisfree M&A Incorporated, Scott Winter/Jennifer Shotwell/Jon Salzberger, (212) 750-5833.

For media information, contact: Sean Corbett, (702) 876-7219, sean.corbett@swgas.com; or Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher, Dan Katcher / Tim Lynch, (212) 355-4449.

 

SOUTHWEST GAS HOLDINGS, INC. CONSOLIDATED EARNINGS DIGEST

(In thousands, except per share amounts)

 


QUARTER ENDED MARCH 31,


2022


2021

Consolidated Operating Revenues


$          1,267,409


$              885,907






Net Income applicable to Southwest Gas Holdings


$                96,178


$              117,293






Weighted Average Common Shares


60,737


57,600






Basic Earnings Per Share


$                    1.58


$                    2.04






Diluted Earnings Per Share


$                    1.58


$                    2.03






Reconciliation of Gross margin to Operating Margin (non-GAAP measure)





Utility Gross Margin


$              233,882


$              233,156

Plus:





Operations and maintenance (excluding Admin & General) expense


73,422


64,057

Depreciation and amortization expense


72,114


68,698

Operating Margin


$              379,418


$              365,911




TWELVE MONTHS ENDED MARCH 31,


2022


2021

Consolidated Operating Revenues


$          4,061,953


$          3,348,460






Net Income applicable to Southwest Gas Holdings


$              179,664


$              277,075






Weighted Average Common Shares


59,919


56,564






Basic Earnings Per Share


$                    3.00


$                    4.90






Diluted Earnings Per Share


$                    2.99


$                    4.89






Reconciliation of Gross margin to Operating Margin (non-GAAP measure)





Utility Gross Margin


$              571,051


$              546,171

Plus:





Operations and maintenance (excluding Admin & General) expense


276,525


246,214

Depreciation and amortization expense


256,814


239,268

Operating Margin


$          1,104,390


$          1,031,653

 

Reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures of Adjusted net income (loss) and Adjusted diluted earnings per share and their comparable GAAP measures of Net income (loss) and Diluted earnings (loss) per share. Note that the comparable GAAP measures are also included in Note 7 - Segment Information in the Company's March 31, 2022 Form 10-Q. Prior periods are not presented below as comparable non-GAAP adjustments were not applicable in comparable periods of the prior year.

Amounts in thousands, except per share amounts



Three Months
Ended


Twelve Months
Ended



March 31, 2022

Reconciliation of Net income to non-GAAP measure of Adjusted net income





Net income applicable to Natural Gas Distribution (GAAP)


$           111,795


$           180,215

Plus:





Legal reserve, net of tax



3,800

Adjusted net income applicable to Natural Gas Distribution


$           111,795


$           184,015






Net income (loss) applicable to Utility Infrastructure Services (GAAP)


$            (23,486)


$             17,793

Plus:





Riggs Distler transaction costs, net of tax



11,663

Adjusted net income (loss) applicable to Utility Infrastructure Services


$            (23,486)


$             29,456






Net income applicable to Pipeline and Storage (GAAP)


$             16,930


$             16,930

Plus:





Non-recurring stand-up costs associated with integrating MountainWest, net of tax


6,580


6,580

Adjusted net income applicable to Pipeline and Storage


$             23,510


$             23,510






Net loss - Corporate and administrative (GAAP)


$              (9,061)


$            (35,274)

Plus:





MountainWest transaction and related costs, net of tax


532


17,861

Proxy contest and stockholder litigation, net of tax


2,883


6,304

Adjusted net loss applicable to Corporate and administrative


$              (5,646)


$            (11,109)






Net income applicable to Southwest Gas Holdings (GAAP)


$             96,178


$           179,664

Plus:





Legal reserve, net of tax



3,800

Riggs Distler transaction costs, net of tax



11,663

Non-recurring stand-up cost associated with integrating MountainWest, net of tax


6,580


6,580

MountainWest transaction costs, net of tax


532


17,861

Proxy contest and stockholder litigation, net of tax


2,883


6,304

Adjusted net income applicable to Southwest Gas Holdings


$           106,173


$           225,872






Weighted average shares - diluted


60,854


60,044






Earnings per share





Diluted earnings per share


$                  1.58


$                  2.99

Adjusted consolidated earnings per diluted share


$                  1.74


$                  3.76

 

SOUTHWEST GAS HOLDINGS, INC.

SUMMARY UNAUDITED OPERATING RESULTS

(In thousands, except per share amounts)



Three Months Ended

March 31,


Twelve Months Ended
March 31,


2022


2021


2022


2021

Results of Consolidated Operations








Contribution to net income - natural gas distribution

$   111,795


$   118,715


$   180,215


$   194,234

Contribution to net income - utility infrastructure services

(23,486)


(859)


17,793


84,207

Contribution to net income - pipeline and storage

16,930



16,930


Corporate and administrative

(9,061)


(563)


(35,274)


(1,366)

Net income

$     96,178


$   117,293


$   179,664


$   277,075









Basic earnings per share

$         1.58


$         2.04


$         3.00


$         4.90

Diluted earnings per share

$         1.58


$         2.03


$         2.99


$         4.89









Weighted average common shares

60,737


57,600


59,919


56,564

Weighted average diluted shares

60,854


57,679


60,044


56,649









Results of Natural Gas Distribution








Regulated operations revenues

$   676,539


$   521,932


$ 1,676,397


$ 1,369,690

Net cost of gas sold

297,121


156,021


572,007


338,037

Operating margin

379,418


365,911


1,104,390


1,031,653

Operations and maintenance expense

119,636


106,135


452,051


409,429

Depreciation and amortization

72,114


68,698


256,814


239,268

Taxes other than income taxes

21,652


20,687


81,308


67,769

Operating income

166,016


170,391


314,217


315,187

Other income (deductions)

1,315


550


(3,794)


14,496

Net interest deductions

26,610


22,166


102,004


98,256

Income before income taxes

140,721


148,775


208,419


231,427

Income tax expense

28,926


30,060


28,204


37,193

Contribution to net income - natural gas distribution

$   111,795


$   118,715


$   180,215


$   194,234









Results of Utility Infrastructure Services








Utility infrastructure services revenues

$   523,877


$   363,975


$ 2,318,563


$ 1,978,770

Operating expenses:








Utility infrastructure services expenses

503,232


335,614


2,123,085


1,745,729

Depreciation and amortization

37,612


24,744


130,511


98,548

Operating income (loss)

(16,967)


3,617


64,967


134,493

Other income (deductions)

(486)


(102)


683


(67)

Net interest deductions

11,131


1,622


30,508


7,992

Income (loss) before income taxes

(28,584)


1,893


35,142


126,434

Income tax expense (benefit)

(6,170)


1,200


11,406


34,477

Net income (loss)

(22,414)


693


23,736


91,957

Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests

1,072


1,552


5,943


7,750

Contribution to consolidated results attributable to Centuri

$    (23,486)


$         (859)


$     17,793


$     84,207

 



Three Months Ended
March 31,



2022

Results of Pipeline and Storage



Regulated operations revenues


$                            66,993

Operating expenses:



Net cost of gas sold


1,797

Operations and maintenance expense


24,312

Depreciation and amortization


12,920

Taxes other than income taxes


3,164

Operating income


24,800

Other income (deductions)


543

Net interest deductions


4,382

Income before income taxes


20,961

Income tax expense


4,031

Contribution to consolidated results attributable to MountainWest


$                            16,930

 

FINANCIAL STATISTICS




Market value to book value per share at quarter end


150 %

Twelve months to date return on equity

-- total company


6.0   %


-- gas segment


7.3   %

Common stock dividend yield at quarter end


3.2   %

Customer to employee ratio at quarter end (gas segment)


961 to 1

 

GAS DISTRIBUTION SEGMENT









Authorized Rate Base
(In thousands)


Authorized Rate of
Return


Authorized Return on
Common Equity

Rate Jurisdiction




Arizona


$                     1,930,612


7.03 %


9.10 %

Southern Nevada (1)


1,535,593


6.30


9.40

Northern Nevada (1)


174,965


6.56


9.40

Southern California


285,691


7.11


10.00

Northern California


92,983


7.44


10.00

South Lake Tahoe


56,818


7.44


10.00

Great Basin Gas Transmission Company (2)


135,460


8.30


11.80


(1) Reflects final rate case decision with rates effective 04/2022.

(2) Estimated amounts based on 2019/2020 rate case settlement.

 

SYSTEM THROUGHPUT BY CUSTOMER CLASS











Three Months Ended
March 31,


Twelve Months Ended
March 31,

(In dekatherms)


2022


2021


2022


2021

Residential


38,867,195


38,889,620


76,788,035


80,653,418

Small commercial


12,922,387


11,845,171


32,128,179


28,790,924

Large commercial


2,694,948


2,636,978


9,548,100


8,997,446

Industrial / Other


1,177,808


1,241,284


5,040,661


5,099,314

Transportation


23,060,721


22,168,757


95,847,164


96,631,469

Total system throughput


78,723,059


76,781,810


219,352,139


220,172,571

 

HEATING DEGREE DAY COMPARISON









Actual


1,013


1,021


1,619


1,760

Ten-year average


971


974


1,633


1,662


Heating degree days for prior periods have been recalculated using the current period customer mix.

 

Cision View original content:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/southwest-gas-holdings-inc-announces-first-quarter-2022-financial-results-301543042.html

SOURCE Southwest Gas Holdings, Inc.

Copyright 2022 PR Newswire

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