PG&E beats fourth-quarter profit estimates on higher electricity rates

By Thomson Reuters Feb 22, 2024 | 6:52 AM

(Reuters) – PG&E Corp posted fourth-quarter profit above analyst estimates on Thursday, as the electric and natural gas utility got a boost from higher rates for its services.

In December, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted to pass the alternate proposed decision (APD) raising prices for customers by nearly 13% in the company’s General Rate Case.

Utility companies use General Rate Case (GRC) proceedings to increase consumer electricity prices. The proceedings are initiated by utility firms with utility commissions when they have a revenue shortfall and ask for an increase in rates based on the total cost of providing service.

On an adjusted basis, PG&E reported a profit of 47 cents per share, beating analysts’ estimates of 45 cents per share, according to LSEG data.

PG&E also raised its 2024 adjusted core earnings forecast to $1.33 – $1.37 per share from its previously expected range of $1.31-$1.35 per share.

Shares of the company rose 1% in premarket trade.

PG&E is the parent company of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, an energy company that serves 16 million Californians across a 70,000-square-mile service area in Northern and Central California.

The company has previously been linked to major wildfires, causing it to face several fines and bankruptcy. It emerged from bankruptcy in 2020.

“Our story of progress continued in 2023, including further reducing wildfire ignitions and burying more powerlines than any prior year—all while achieving overall non-fuel operating and maintenance cost savings of more than 5%,” PG&E CEO Patti Poppe said in a statement.

(Reporting by Roshia Sabu in Bengaluru; Editing by Tasim Zahid)