AGL Resources reports first-quarter profit

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A warm start to 2012 led to lower-than-expected first-quarter profits for Atlanta-based AGL Resources, the nation’s largest natural gas distribution company.

AGL reported a net income of $130 million, or $1.11 a share, compared with $124 million, or $1.59 a share during the first quarter a year ago.

Expenses from buying Illinois-based Nicor Gas as well as customers not running the heat as much played into the company’s results.

“The key factor influencing operating performance was historically warm weather during the first quarter of 2012,” said Andrew Evans, AGL Resources’ executive vice president and chief financial officer.

The company’s distribution unit, which includes Atlanta Gas Light and six other utilities, reported profits of $194 million for the quarter, ending March 31, compared with $141 million during the same period a year ago. Profits for Sequent Energy Management, AGL’s wholesale services arm, dropped sharply to $19 million, compared with $33 million a year ago.

The warm weather may lead AGL to lower its guidance for 2012, which now ranges between $2.80 and $2.95 a share.

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