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TVA Reports First Quarter FY2014 Results
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. ― The Tennessee Valley Authority reported Tuesday that operating expenses declined and its bottom line results improved in the first quarter of fiscal year 2014 compared with the same quarter a year ago.
“Our efforts to keep rates low and reliability high for our customers by working more efficiently helped to offset lower sales and revenues reported in the first quarter of 2014,” TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson said.
TVA reported a $67 million net loss on operating revenues of $2.38 billion in the first quarter of 2014, an improvement over a $245 million loss on revenues of $2.58 billion for the same period last year.
TVA’s first-quarter filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission covered the three months ended Dec. 31, 2013, a period between summer and winter when lower demand for electricity typically results in a net loss.
Compared with last year, operating and maintenance expenses were down $112 million, or 12 percent, in the first quarter of 2014. This was driven by a $91 million decrease in expenses from planned outages, projects and scheduled maintenance, and a reduction in contract labor through cost-saving initiatives. A $10 million increase in coal-fired operation outages partially offset the O&M savings.
“We continued to see positive results from our efforts to achieve sustainable operating and maintenance cost reductions during the first quarter,” Chief Financial Officer John Thomas said. “The actions we are taking now help position TVA to remain financially healthy and meet our goal of reliable, low-cost and cleaner energy for the people of the Valley.”
Total operating expenses were 14 percent lower than the same period last year, driven primarily by a 32 percent decrease in fuel expenses. TVA’s nuclear and hydroelectric generation increased 29 percent and 30 percent, respectively, compared to the first quarter of last year, helping to drive the lower fuel costs. A 2 percent increase in purchased power expense also partially offset higher gas prices.
Operating revenues, impacted by lower fuel recovery costs, were $197 million lower compared with last year’s first quarter. TVA’s use of less-expensive nuclear and hydroelectric generation helped reduce fuel costs recovered through rates by $255 million, a decrease partially offset by a $60 million increase in base revenue.
“We were pleased to see such strong performance from our nuclear and hydro power assets and our entire fleet during the quarter, helping us provide low-cost reliable power,” said Johnson. “This demonstrates the value and flexibility of TVA’s well-diversified power system.”
Total electricity sales were down 3 percent for the quarter, primarily due to the loss of TVA’s largest directly served customer. But sales to local power companies were 7 percent higher as a result of cooler weather than a year ago and some growth in electric demand.
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Last Update on November 24, 2014 18:22 GMT
EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- A member of the European Central Bank's rate-setting council has said monetary policy cannot boost long-term growth and called instead for reforms by governments to make the weak economy more investment-friendly.
Jens Weidmann said in the text of a speech in Madrid on Monday that low interest rates and stimulus measures can boost short-term demand but that central bank action "cannot permanently boost growth prospects."
Weidmann, who also heads Germany's Bundesbank central bank, said that long-term growth depended on countries' willingness to lower barriers to investment by streamlining bureaucracy and rules on hiring and firing.
His remarks follow a speech last week by ECB President Mario Draghi in which he said the bank was ready to do more to boost the struggling economy.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greece may be exiting a cruel six-year recession, but it will take at least 20 years for employment to regain pre-crisis levels without concerted action, the United Nations' labor organization says.
An International Labor Organization official says a series of ILO recommendations could speed up the process by about eight years.
ILO research department head Raymond Torres outlined the proposals in a new ILO report presented in Athens on Monday. They combine emergency measures -- including a 1 billion euro youth employment program and improved commercial credit conditions -- as well as structural reforms.
Greece nearly went bankrupt in 2010 after years of profligate public spending, and took harsh austerity measures to secure international bailouts. Unemployment is 26 percent, with most jobless people at least a year out of work.
Meanwhile, the Greek finance ministry says the country's debt inspectors will meet with Greek officials in Paris on Tuesday to move ahead with the stalled review of the nation's financial reforms.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Louis Chenevert (Shen-eh-'VAIR), the chief executive officer of aerospace and building systems giant United Technologies Corp., is retiring abruptly after six years and will be succeeded by the company's chief financial officer.
The Hartford, Connecticut, conglomerate announced the change of leadership on Monday. It promoted CFO Greg Hayes to the top job.
Chenevert steered United Technologies' $18.4 billion purchase of aerospace parts maker Goodrich Corp. in 2012. It was the industry's largest deal and gave the company a stronger presence in the aerospace industry.
Chenevert iinformed the board of directors of his retirement as chairman and CEO effective immediately.
Edward A. Kangas, lead independent director, has been elected non-executive chairman of the board.
The 54-year-old Hayes has been with United Technologies for 25 years and has been hief financial officer for the past six years.
LONDON (AP) -- Google has agreed to a settlement with a former Morgan Stanley banker who sued the search engine over defamatory Internet posts.
Daniel Hegglin, a Hong Kong-based investor, went to Britain's High Court to force Google to ensure posts falsely labeling him a murderer, pedophile and Nazi didn't appear in search results.
Hegglin's lawyer, Hugh Tomlinson, said Monday that the case had been settled. He didn't disclose details, but said the settlement "includes significant efforts on Google's part to remove the abusive material."
Google lawyer Antony White said Hegglin had received an "exceptional" amount of Internet abuse.
He said Google wasn't responsible for policing the Web, but would "continue to apply its procedures that have been developed to assist with the removal of content which breaches applicable local laws."
STOPPING CAR HACKERS
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Where consumers see an advantage in cars that connect to the Internet for entertainment or use computers to parallel park, hackers see an opportunity.
In staged tests, hackers have shown that they can penetrate cars' networks and cut the brakes -- or lock them up -- or even kill the engine.
While there are no publicly known instances of a car being commandeered outside staged tests, neither industry nor the government is waiting.
One Defense Department-funded program seeks to reconceive the most critical lines of computer code that control the car in a way that could make them invulnerable to major known threats. The model code would be distributed to automakers, who could adapt it to their needs.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. regulators have strengthened their warning against use of a once-popular device for gynecologic surgery that can spread unsuspected cancer, saying its risk is only justified in a fraction of patients.
The Food and Drug Administration is updating its April safety warning, now saying doctors should not use the devices, called laparoscopic power morcellators, for performing a hysterectomy or removing uterine fibroids "in the vast majority of women."
The FDA's Dr. William Maisel says there are safer options for the procedures for most patients -- but he said the device may be appropriate for some women.
One manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, directed surgeons to stop using its device for the procedures in April, when concerns about inadvertently spreading cancer inside women's abdomens first arose. It's now conducting a worldwide recall.
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- United States Steel Corp. has announced it will build its new world headquarters in Pittsburgh as part of the NHL's Penguins' redevelopment of the former Civic Arena site.
Company, team, city and state officials made the announcement Monday.
The steel giant has been in talks with local leaders about whether to remain in Pittsburgh, as the current headquarters in the 64-story U.S. Steel Tower -- downtown Pittsburgh's highest building -- has shrunk in recent years as other tenants have occupied more space in that building.
The Penguins reached an agreement last fall with local officials about the scope of the $440 million redevelopment.
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