Hydro One Ltd. topped expectations as it reported a fourth-quarter profit compared with a loss a year ago when it was hit by an Ontario Energy Board decision on a deferred tax asset.
Profit attributable to common shareholders amounted to $211 million or 35 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Dec. 31, the power utility said.
The result compared with a loss attributable to common shareholders of $705 million or $1.18 per diluted share in the same period in 2018 when it took a $867-million charge related to the tax asset decision.
“The fourth quarter capped an exciting year of operational excellence for Hydro One as we unveiled our new corporate strategy, increased our productivity and reinforced our leadership team,” said CEO Mark Poweska.
Revenue totalled nearly $1.72 billion, up from $1.49 billion.
Hydro One reported capital investments of $562 million during the fourth quarter of 2019, and noted it placed $849 million of new assets in service.
It said it realized productivity savings of $202 million in 2019, compared to $136 million in 2018, thanks to strategic sourcing, planning and execution, repatriation of the customer call centre and more efficient use of capital.
On an adjusted basis, Hydro One says it earned 35 cents per diluted share in its most recent quarter compared with an adjusted profit of 29 cents per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of 31 cents per share and revenue of $1.58 billion for the quarter, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.
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