TransCanada First Quarter 2002 Earnings Rise - Company Declares 154th Consecutive Dividend

Calgary, Alberta - April 26, 2002 - (TSE: TRP) (NYSE: TRP)

First Quarter 2002 Highlights:
(All financial figures are in Canadian dollars unless noted otherwise)

  • TransCanada PipeLines Limited's net income applicable to common shares from continuing operations (net earnings), for the three months ended March 31, 2002 increased approximately nine per cent to $186 million or $0.39 per share compared to first quarter 2001 net earnings of $170 million or $0.36 per share.
  • Net income applicable to common shares for the three months ended March 31, 2002 was $186 million or $0.39 per share compared to $162 million or $0.34 per share for the same period in 2001, an increase of approximately 15 per cent.
  • In the first quarter 2002, TransCanada continued to strengthen its balance sheet. Funds generated from continuing operations for the first quarter 2002 were $451 million compared to $413 million for the same period in 2001, an increase of approximately nine per cent. TransCanada used a portion of its cash resources to fund debt maturities of $92 million and reduce notes payable by $171 million. The company invested $117 million of capital expenditures in its operations in the first three months of this year.
  • TransCanada's Board of Directors today declared a quarterly dividend of $0.25 per share for the quarter ended June 30, 2002 on the company's outstanding common shares. This is the 154th consecutive quarterly dividend on TransCanada's common shares and is payable on July 31, 2002 to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 28, 2002. The Board also declared regular dividends on TransCanada's preferred shares.
  • Deliveries of natural gas on the Alberta System averaged 11.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) for the first quarter 2002 compared to 12.0 Bcf/d for the first quarter 2001. Field receipts volumes for the Alberta System for the three months ended March 31, 2002 were 11.1 Bcf/d, virtually unchanged from the same period last year. Canadian Mainline deliveries averaged 7.7 Bcf/d for the first quarter of 2002 compared to 7.2 Bcf/d for the first quarter of 2001. Delivery volumes for the Canadian Mainline received at the Alberta border and in Saskatchewan averaged 6.1 Bcf/d for the first quarter of this year compared to 6.0 Bcf/d for the same period in 2001. The BC System delivered an average of 1.2 Bcf/d of natural gas in the first quarter of 2002, the same as in the first quarter last year.
  • On April 14, 2002, a line break on the Canadian Mainline occurred in a relatively remote area near Brookdale, Manitoba. TransCanada implemented its emergency response plan. Automatic shut off valves closed to isolate the damaged section of pipeline. The company continued to flow natural gas through adjacent pipelines in the area. Firm service to customers was not interrupted, while interruptible service was curtailed minimally for one gas day. TransCanada has begun repairs to the pipeline and is continuing its investigation into the possible cause of the line break.

"TransCanada started the year as we left 2001 - strong," said Hal Kvisle, TransCanada's chief executive officer. "We are building our financial strength as we continue our disciplined approach to growth. Our strong financial position and our thoroughness in evaluating the market and growth prospects prepares us to act swiftly, strongly, decisively and with discipline when the right opportunities come available."

TransCanada continues to execute its core strategies:

  • establish a new regulatory framework;
  • grow and optimize its extensive pipeline network;
  • sustain the pace of profitable growth in power;
  • focus on operational excellence; and
  • maintain and selectively make use of its considerable financial strength. 

TransCanada is awaiting a decision from the National Energy Board (NEB) on the company's Fair Return Application. The Application was the subject of an NEB hearing that concluded April 4, 2002. In its Application, the company requested approval of an after-tax weighted average cost of capital (ATWACC) of 7.5 per cent for its Canadian Mainline in 2001 and 2002. This compares to an ATWACC of 5.84 per cent based on the 2001 return on equity under the NEB formula. "TransCanada is committed to ensuring all of its business segments provide competitive returns," said Mr. Kvisle.

In January 2002, TransCanada presented a draft Transportation Services White Paper to its customers. This discussion document proposes comprehensive changes to TransCanada's transportation services framework required to keep pace with changes occurring in the gas industry. "Adoption of this framework will result in enhanced flexibility in both western and eastern markets," said Mr. Kvisle.

TransCanada hosted White Paper workshops for customers in the first quarter 2002. Input from these meetings is being used to make appropriate adjustments to the Paper. TransCanada continues to place a strategic priority on connecting natural gas from Northern Canada and Alaska into its existing pipeline system. "Our focus is on more than just the new pipelines that may be built from the North," said Mr. Kvisle. "We are also in discussions with producers, governments and other pipeline companies to develop options for moving northern gas to key markets across Canada and in the northern United States."

TransCanada's proposal is designed around three main elements:

  • providing the best market options for gas from Alaska and Northern Canada and gas yet to be discovered in Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan;
  • maximize the use of existing infrastructure to minimize costs to the producers; and ensuring pipeline capacity is added quickly and economically in response to market demand and growing western supply. 

Full commercial operations of TransCanada's newest Alberta cogeneration power plants - Redwater (40 megawatt) and Carseland (80 megawatt) - commenced in January 2002. Also in January, TransCanada began realizing income from its effective 50 per cent interest in the 706 megawatt Sundance B power purchase arrangement it acquired in late 2001. The company has sold the 2002 capacity on a profitable basis.

"Moving ahead, we will continue to utilize the flexibility afforded by our strong balance sheet and discretionary cash flow to invest in our core businesses and acquire assets and businesses consistent with our objective of adding shareholder value while effectively managing risk," said Mr. Kvisle.

Annual Meeting of Shareholders and Teleconference

TransCanada will hold its Annual Meeting of Shareholders beginning today at 10:30 a.m. (Mountain) / 12:30 p.m. (Eastern). The meeting will take place at the Roundup Centre (13th Avenue and Third Street S.E.) in Calgary, Alberta. A live audio web cast of the meeting will be available on TransCanada's web site at http://www.transcanada.com/ beginning at 10:30 a.m. (Mountain) / 12:30 p.m.
(Eastern). The meeting web cast will be archived and available for replay.

The company will hold a teleconference today at 1:00 p.m. (Mountain) / 3:00 p.m. (Eastern) to discuss the first quarter 2002 financial results and general developments and issues concerning the company. Analysts, members of the media and other interested parties wanting to participate in the call should dial 1-800-273-9672 or 416-695-5806 (Toronto area) at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the call. No pass code is required. A replay of the teleconference will be available two hours after the conclusion of the call until midnight, May 3, 2002, by dialing 1-800-408-3053 or 416-695-5800 (Toronto area) and entering passcode 1134826.

The conference will begin with a short address by members of TransCanada's executive management, followed by a question and answer period for investment analysts. A question and answer period for members of the media unable to attend the Annual Meeting of Shareholders will immediately follow. A live audio web cast of the teleconference will also be available on TransCanada's web site. The teleconference web cast will be archived and available for replay.

About TransCanada

TransCanada is a leading North American energy company. It is focused on natural gas transmission and power services with employees who are expert in these businesses. The company's network of approximately 38,000 kilometres of pipeline transports the majority of western Canada's natural gas production to the fastest growing markets in Canada and the United States.
TransCanada owns, controls or is constructing a total of approximately 2,250 megawatts of power -- an amount of power that can eet the needs of more than two million average households. The company's common shares trade under the symbol TRP on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges. Visit us on the internet at http://www.transcanada.com/ for more information.

For further information, please contact:

Media Inquiries:
Glenn Herchak / Kurt Kadatz
(403) 920-7859

Analyst Inquiries:
David Moneta
(403) 920-7917
 
 

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