With a 25 percent increase in fourth quarter earnings and a 22 percent jump in full year earnings, Williams Cos. based in Tulsa is pushing ahead with its planned merger with Dallas-based Energy Transfer Equity. However, the company also reported losses for 2015 compared to the more than $2 billion in income in 2014.
The company released the earnings report late Wednesday showing showing fourth quarter earnings were up to $1.07 or 25 percent higher than the fourth quarter of 2014. For the year, the company’s earnings were $4.1 billion which represented an increase of $751 million or 22 percent over all of 2014.
The company reported an unaudited fourth quarter net loss of $701 million or $0.94 a share compared to a net income of $193 million or $0.26 a share for 2014. It also had a net loss of $557 million for the year or $0.74 a share compared with net income of $2.114 billion or $2.92 a share for 2014.
As Williams put it in announcing the earnings, “The impairments were largely the result of significant declines in energy commodity prices as well as the maraket values of WPZ and comparable midstream compoanies publicly traded equity securities in the fourth quarter.”
“Williams Partners recorded another strong quarter,” said Alan Armstrong,Williams president and chief executive officer, “demonstrating excellent operational performance and the resilience of our business to grow despie sharply lower commodity prices.”
While earnings increased for the quarter and the year to date, the Board of Directors stated it was unanimously committed to completing the transaction with Energy Transfer Equity, L.P.
The merger agreement was executed in September, 2015.
Completion of the pending transaction, according to the company earnings report, remains subject to the approval of Williams stockholders and other customary closing conditions.