Monday, February 1, 2016

AEP and $550 million

Ever wonder what AEP did with the $550 million it received from ACBL in that big sale from last fall?

From last week, when AEP issued a news release on its quarterly and year-end earnings: "We are reinvesting the proceeds from the sale of AEP River Operations back in our core, regulated businesses." -- AEP CEO Nick Akins.

Again last week, from AEP's quarterly conference call with investment analysts. Again, Nick Akins: "AEP sale of River Operations occurred during the fourth quarter and the transaction occurred according to plan. The cash proceeds were redeployed in advance of the sale by raising our capital forecast for transmission and then by raising our overall capital plan to $5 billion for 2016 at the November EEI Financial Conference, focus on additional regulated operating company and transmission activities. So, we have successfully converted that portion of volatile earnings to a more consistent, regulated earnings profile."

In the fourth quarter, AEP River Operations recorded net income of $13 million, versus $33 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. Remember, River Operations was in business as an AEP operation for only about half of the quarter.

For the full year, River Operations posted net income of $29 million, down from $50 million in 2014.

AEP wants to focus on its regulated business and get out of business that is not regulated by states' public utilities or public service commissions. That's why it's also looking at selling its generating assets in Ohio now that that state is deregulated.

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