Report: NextEra Energy paid no income taxes during six of eight years

Juno Beach-based NextEra Energy was one of 258 corporations whose federal income taxes were studied in a report released Thursday.

Just as most Americans are in the throes of preparing their income tax returns, a report released Thursday  finds that Florida Power & Light’s parent company,  NextEra Energy, paid no federal income taxes in six out of eight years from 2008 to 2015.

Thanks to corporate tax credits, depreciation and other “corporate loopholes,”  the tax breaks were perfectly legal for Juno Beach-based NextEra and other Fortune 500 companies. Although the statutory corporate tax rate is 35 percent, the companies paid an average effective rate of 21.2 percent.

The study, The 35 Percent Corporate Tax Myth conducted by the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy in Washington, D.C.,  examined  eight years of data on federal income taxes of 258 profitable companies.

NextEra Energy spokesman Mark Bubriski called the report a stunt that intentionally leaves out relevant context in order to paint a negative picture.

“The reality is, we are investing billions of dollars in advanced energy infrastructure across the country, and paying billions of dollars in taxes,” Bubriski said.

Matthew Gardner, an ITEP senior fellow and lead author of the report, said, “Over the past eight years from 2008 to 2015, NextEra Energy made $21.5 billion in U.S. profits on which they paid no taxes as a whole. However, there were specific years, most notably 2015, in which the company did pay some small amount of taxes.”

In 2015 NextEra paid $10 million on $3.9 billion in profits, and paid a similar amount in 2010 as well, Gardner said. NextEra owed no taxes in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

NextEra’s Bubriski stressed that the investments are creating tens of thousands of jobs and powering millions of Americans with affordable clean energy.

NextEra Energy is the world’s largest producer of solar and wind energy and is expanding those resources on an enormous scale, Bubriski said.  Many of its investments qualified for accelerated depreciation.

NextEra operates in 30 states, and pays local and state taxes, Bubriski said. Corporations pay a state income tax in Florida.  FPL was Palm Beach County’s largest property taxpayer in 2016, with $98.6 million in property taxes, and is also the largest taxpayer statewide.

NextEra is one of 18 companies, along with other big names such as General Electric, Priceline.com, International Paper and Ryder System,  on the list of those which ended up paying net zero taxes during eight years.

The report is based on annual reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Fourteen of the companies which paid net zero taxes,  including Pepco Holdings, PG&E and Duke Energy, are in the power sector.

“Corporations can zero out their taxes or pay substantially less than the statutory corporate tax rate thanks to copious loopholes in the tax code,” the report states.

For the energy sector, especially, tax breaks Congress has enacted to encourage companies to make investments in facilities such as power plants, have played a major role.

Using accelerated depreciation,  companies are allowed to write off the cost of some of the investments they make, Gardner said.

“They will let them defer their taxes, postpone them to a different year. The idea is eventually you will have to pay taxes on this income. Companies are constantly making capital investments. They will keep racking up tax breaks until the cows come home,”  Gardner said.

Collectively, the 258 corporations enjoyed $526 billion in tax breaks over the last eight years.  NextEra’s tax breaks totaled $7.84 billion.

The five biggest beneficiaries of tax breaks were:

AT&T $38 billion

Wells Fargo $31 billion

J.P. Morgan $22 billion

Verizon $21 billion

IBM $17.8 billion

 

 

 

 

 

NextEra to report fourth-quarter, full-year financial results Jan. 27

NextEra plans to release its fourth-quarter and full-year results Jan. 27.
NextEra plans to release its fourth-quarter and full-year results Jan. 27.

NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NEE), headquartered in Juno Beach,  plans to report fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 financial results before the opening of the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, Jan. 27.

NextEra is the parent company of Florida Power & Light Co.

At 9 a.m. Jim Robo, NextEra’s chairman and chief executive officer and  John Ketchum, executive vice president and chief financial officer, and other members of the senior management team, will discuss the results during a webcast.

The listen-only webcast will be available on NextEra Energy’s website by accessing the following link: www.NextEraEnergy.com/investors. The financial results news release and the slides accompanying the presentation may be downloaded at www.NextEraEnergy.com/investors, beginning at 7:30 a.m. on the day of the webcast.

 

Hurricanes Hermine, Matthew cost FPL roughly $350 million in restoration

NextEra Energy released its third-quarter resultts today.
NextEra Energy released its third-quarter results today.

 

Hurricane Hermine in September and Hurricane Matthew earlier this month cost Florida Power & Light Co. an estimated $350 million in power restoration costs, the company said Monday.

The estimate is preliminary as FPL has not completed the final accounting, John Ketchum, executive vice president and chief financial officer of FPL’s parent company NextEra Energy Inc., said in an earnings conference call Monday.

Customers will ultimately pay the costs. Under the 2012 rate agreement, storm charges cannot exceed $4 per 1,000 kilowatts of usage per month.

Ketchum said that FPL intends to file a petition detailing the storm surcharges with the Florida Public Service Commission in the fourth quarter of this year.

When Matthew affected FPL’s service territory along Florida’s East Coast,  deployed a workforce of 15,000 including its own employees, workers from contracting companies and partner utilities to restore power. Of the 1.2 million customers who lost power, 98.7 percent were restored by the end of the second full day after the storm left.

Both Juno Beach-based FPL and its parent company, NextEra Energy, reported Monday that third-quarter profits rose.

NextEra Energy reported third-quarter  profits of $809 million, or $1.74 per share on an adjusted basis, compared to $730 million, or $1.60 per share, in the third quarter of 2015.

“NextEra Energy delivered strong third-quarter results, and as a result, remains well-positioned to achieve our overall objectives for 2016,” said Jim Robo, chairman and chief executive officer of NextEra Energy.

“NextEra Energy’s third-quarter adjusted earnings per share increased approximately 9 percent from the prior-year comparable period, primarily reflecting contributions from continued investments at both FPL and NextEra Energy Resources,” Robo said.

FPL reported third-quarter profits of $515 million, or $1.11 a share, compared to $489 million, or $1.07 per share, for the prior-year quarter.

FPL’s contribution to adjusted earnings per share growth over the prior-year comparable quarter was primarily driven by continued investment in the business. FPL’s third-quarter retail sales volume increased 4 percent from the prior-year comparable quarter, while its average number of customers increased by approximately 67,000 over the same period.

NextEra also announced that it was reached an agreement with an affiliate to merge with Texas Transmission Holdings Corp., including TTHC’s approximately 20 percent indirect interest in Oncor Electric Delivery for approximately $2.4 billion.

In addition NextEra has reached an agreement to acquire the remaining 0.22 percent interest in Oncor that is now owned by Oncor Management Investment, LLC for $27 million. If approved, these transactions, combined with NextEra’s previously announced purchase of Energy Future Holdings 80 percent interest in Oncor, would result in NextEra owning 100 percent of Oncor.

 

NextEra Energy to release third-quarter results Oct. 31

NextEra Energy plans to release its third-quarter results Oct. 31.
NextEra Energy plans to release its third-quarter results Oct. 31.

NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE) plans to report its third-quarter financial results before the opening of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, Oct. 31.

NextEra is the parent company of Florida Power & Light Co., the nation’s third-largest electric utility. Both are headquartered in Juno Beach.

Jim Robo, chairman and chief executive officer of NextEra Energy, John Ketchum, executive vice president, finance, and chief financial officer of NextEra Energy, and other members of the company’s senior management team will discuss the results during a live webcast beginning at 9 a.m.  Results for NextEra Energy Partners, LP (NYSE: NEP) also will be discussed.

NextEra moves closer to acquiring Texas-based Oncor for $18.7 billion

NextEra Energy, headquarted in Juno Beach, is seeking to acquire a Texas company.
NextEra Energy, headquartered in Juno Beach, is seeking to acquire a Texas company.

NextEra Energy’s proposed $18.7 acquisition of Oncor Holdings took a big step forward Monday with a bankruptcy court’s approval of the sale, NextEra officials said Monday.

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approved Energy Future Holding Corp. entering into an agreement with NextEra to acquire 100 percent of the equity of reorganized EFH, reorganized Energy Future Intermediate Holding Corp,  Oncor Electric Delivery Holdings Co. LLC and other subsidiaries including Oncor Holdings’ approximately 80 percent ownership in Oncor Electric Delivery Co.

NextEra, headquartered in Juno Beach, is the parent company of Florida’s largest electric utility, Florida Power & Light Co.

NextEra CEO and chairman Jim Robo said Monday the bankruptcy court ruling is an important next step in the process to acquire Oncor.

NextEra expects to file a joint application with Oncor soon seeking the Public Utility Commission of Texas’ approval of the proposed transaction, Robo said.

The transaction was valued at $18.4 billion but in a merger agreement signed with EFH Monday,  NextEra increased its offer by $300 million in cash.

Energy Future Holdings Corp. formerly known as TXU Corp., is a privately-held diversified energy holding company with a portfolio of competitive and regulated energy businesses in Texas.

Oncor is the largest regulated transmission and distribution utility in Texas.

NextEra expects the transaction, which must also be approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, to be completed in the first quarter of 2017.

EFH’s bankruptcy filing in 2014 was the largest-ever U.S. power industry bankruptcy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Florida SE Connection gas pipeline construction to begin, will supply FPL

This map shows the pipeline's route.
This map shows the pipeline’s route.

Federal regulators have given the go-ahead for construction to begin on the southern portion of a new $3.2 billion natural gas pipeline slated to supply Florida Power & Light Co.’s  South Florida plants.

Friday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted Florida Southeast Connection LLC’s request to commerce construction. The company is a subsidary of FPL’s parent company, NextEra Energy Inc., Juno Beach.

Florida Southeast Connection spokesman Dave McDermitt said, “Final approval of this vital underground natural gas pipeline is a significant milestone for Florida Southeast Connection, FPL customers and the Florida economy.

“This culminates a comprehensive, 2.5-year review by numerous federal, state and local government agencies to ensure the project meets or exceeds strict environmental and other regulatory requirements,” McDermitt said. “We look forward to beginning construction activities soon so that Florida can begin to benefit from an additional and necessary supply of clean, U.S.-produced natural gas.”

Florida Southeast Connection is the 126-mile southernmost portion of a 685-mile pipeline that originates in Alabama. It will go through Osceola, Polk, Okeechobee. St. Lucie and Martin counties and end at FPL’s Martin County plant near Indiantown.

FPL uses the fossil fuel to provide 71 percent of the fuel to run its power plants.

The northernmost 515 miles, known as Sabal Trail, is a joint venture of Houston-based Spectra Energy Partners, LP, FPL’s parent company NextEra Energy Inc., Juno Beach, and Duke Energy of Charlotte, N.C.

The project also includes Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co.’s 48-mile Hillabee Expansion Project and six new compressor stations.

Sabal Trail spokeswoman Andrea Grover said Friday that portion is expected to be under construction later this month.

It’s anticipated the entire pipeline will be in service by mid-2017.

On June 28 and August 10, FERC authorized Sabal Trail to mobilize its construction contractors and begin pre-construction activities at certain areas along the project in advance of construction, Grover said.

“We are currently performing the FERC authorized pre-construction activities including surveys and gopher tortoise trapping and relocation activities,” Grover said.

FPL uses the fossil fuel to provide 71 percent of the fuel to run its power plants.

The project has been widely opposed by environmental groups and residents of the communities along the route. They have raised concerns that the pipeline will harm the Floridan Aquifer, which supplies water to millions of people in Florida and Georgia, and could damage wetlands, scenic rivers and wildlife habitat and pose a safety threat.

In February FERC issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the pipeline.

Regulators required Florida Southeast Connection to purchase wetland mitigation credits.

 

 

 

 

 

NextEra, FPL second quarter profits up

A conference call to discuss NextEra Energy's second quarter results begins at 9 a.m.
A conference call to discuss NextEra Energy’s second quarter results begins at 9 a.m.

NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE) today reported second-quarter 2016  profits of $777 million, or $1.67 per share, compared to $699 million, or $1.56 per share, in the second quarter of 2015.

Juno Beach-based NextEra Energy’s principal rate-regulated electric utility subsidiary, Florida Power & Light Company  reported second-quarter profits of $448 million, or 96 cents per share, compared to $435 million, or 97 cents per share, for the prior-year quarter.

A conference call with analysts  begins at 9 a.m. Go  to NextEraEnergy.com for the webcast.

FPL’s contribution to second-quarter adjusted earnings per share was roughly flat, down one cent versus the comparable prior-year period. Growth driven by continued investment in the business was offset by share dilution and a negative impact relating to the Florida Supreme Court’s decision to reverse the Florida Public Service Commission’s  approval of the company’s natural gas reserves program.

“NextEra Energy delivered another successful quarter of strong operational and financial results, highlighted by a seven percent increase in adjusted earnings per share versus the same period last year,” said Jim Robo, chairman and chief executive officer of NextEra Energy.

“At FPL, we had strong growth in the underlying business. Average regulatory capital employed grew 8.4 percent over the same quarter last year, reflecting our continuing commitment of investing new capital in the business to deliver even more value to our customers,” Robo  said.

NextEra Energy Resources was a significant driver of growth during the quarter, with strong contributions from new investments, Robo said. Looking forward, Energy Resources remains poised for another significant installation year and on track with major activities to support the delivery of approximately 2,500 megawatts of new contracted renewables projects in 2016.

 

Dead deal: Regulators dismiss NextEra’s bid to acquire Hawaiian Electric

NextEra Energy, headquartered in Juno Beach, sought to acquire Hawaiian Electric.
NextEra Energy, headquartered in Juno Beach, sought to acquire Hawaiian Electric.

 

NextEra Energy’s  $4.3 billion bid to purchase Hawaii’s largest electric utility has been terminated, NextEra, headquartered in Juno Beach,  and  Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. officials said Monday.

A former Florida Public Service Commissioner who testified during the Hawaii hearings called the failure to gain regulatory approval  an embarrassing loss for NextEra.

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission rejected the deal 2-0 Friday,  saying the companies didn’t show they would provide adequate benefits to ratepayers or help the state meet its aggressive renewable energy goals. One commissioner, recently appointed by Gov. David Ige, abstained. The commission said Next-Era and Hawaiian Electric failed to show the merger would be in the public’s interest.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, NextEra Energy will pay Hawaiian Electric Industries a $90 million break-up fee and up to $5 million for reimbursement of expenses associated with the transaction.

In addition, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that as of last fall, NextEra spent over $21 million on the  merger and public relations efforts.

NextEra spokesman Rob Gould said merger-related expenses will be borne by NextEra shareholders, not FPL customers.

NextEra is the parent company of Florida Power & Light Co., Florida’s largest electric utility.
“As a result of the PUC’s order, we have terminated our merger agreement,” said Jim Robo, chairman and chief executive officer, NextEra Energy. “We wish Hawaiian Electric the best as it serves the current and future energy needs of Hawaii, including helping the state meet its goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. Looking forward, NextEra Energy remains extremely well positioned
to execute on our strategy and deliver exceptional results for our customers and shareholders.”

Former Florida Public Service Commissioner Nathan Skop, who testified during the merger hearings, said, “Unlike the Florida Public Service Commission, the Hawaii PUC has clearly demonstrated that it is not beholden to regulatory capture.

 

“The denial was a well reasoned decision on the merits.  In the eyes of the commission, NextEra apparently failed to make a compelling case that the proposed merger was in the public interest of Hawaii,” Skop said.

 

“Failure to gain regulatory approval appears to be a embarrassing loss for NextEra.  In my opinion as a former regulator, this could been avoided by putting forth a stronger case supported by readily identifiable  and tangible benefits to ratepayers,” Skop said. “When the merger breakup fee is greater than the expected benefit to customers, it stands to reason that the public interest might be hard to find.”

Connie Lau, HEI’s president and chief executive officer and chairman of the boards of Hawaiian Electric and American Savings Bank, said, “We appreciate NextEra Energy’s interest in Hawaii and in our company. All of us at HEI, Hawaiian Electric and American Savings Bank remain committed to serving our customers, and we look forward to working together with communities across our state to realize the clean energy future we all want for Hawaii and to ensure a vibrant local economy.”
NextEra Energy is a leading clean energy company with consolidated revenues of approximately $17.5 billion

NextEra Energy to release second-quarter earnings report July 27

 

NextEra Energy released its first quarter earnings today.

Juno Beach-based NextEra Energy Inc.,  parent company of Florida Power & Light Co., will release its second-quarter financial results on Wednesday, July 27, prior to the opening of the New York Stock Exchange,  company officials said today.

Results for NextEra Energy Partners, a limited partnership formed by NextEra Energy,  will also be discussed during a listen-only webcast at 9 a.m. To access the webcast, go to NextEraEnergy.com/investors.

 

NextEra shareholder sea level rise proposal defeated, but it’s not over

NextEra held its annual shareholders meeting today in Oklahoma City.
NextEra held its annual shareholders meeting today in Oklahoma City.

NextEra Energy Inc.’s shareholders today voted down a resolution that would have required the company  to provide a report assessing the risks and costs of sea level rise  scenarios projecting forward to 2100.

The vote at the company’s annual shareholders meeting held this morning in Okalahoma City was 65 percent against and 35 percent in favor.

The meeting lasted 17 minutes, and no shareholders asked any questions following a brief company overview by NextEra CEO Jim Robo.

NextEra is the parent company of Florida Power & Light Co., and both are headquartered in Juno Beach.

Alan Farago, a Coral Gables resident who submitted the sea level analysis proposal along with Lisa Versaci,  said Thursday, “I am pleased because I didn’t have the time or ability to do a marketing campaign the way the company has the ability to do. To get 35 percent of the vote is a good result, and we will be back.

“Sea level rise isn’t going away and neither are the shareholders who think that corporations ought to be accountable to investors,  especially in such an important activity  as electricity generation,” Farago said.

In other action, shareholders approved a measure that gives certain shareholders the right to nominate candidates for its board of directors. It’s unclear what the impact will be of the proposal approved by 73 percent of the shareholders

Shareholders, with 92 percent of those voting in favor, approved the 12 nominees for the board of directors, all of whom have already been serving.

Robert Beall, chairman of retail chain Beall’s, with retired from the board immediately before the meeting, reducing the board to 12 people.

The re-appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP as NextEra’s independent public accounting firm for 2016 passed with 98 percent of shareholders approving.

Shareholders also approved the company’s compensation of its executive officers and its performance-based compensation plan.

The Comptroller of New York, Thomas DiNapoli, trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund, which owns more than 1.2 million share of NextEra stock,  sought to require the company  to fully disclose its political donations.

The proposal, which was defeated with 55 percent against it, would have required NextEra  to disclose all of its political spending, including payments to trade associations and other tax-exempt organizations used for political purposes. The same proposal was voted down in 2015.