- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 14, 2003

RICHMOND (AP) — Dominion Resources Inc. said yesterday that Hurricane Isabel, which forced crews to replace 10,700 power poles and 7,900 transformers, left the energy producer with an estimated bill of $128 million after taxes.

The tab is not far from the high end of an estimate by the Standard & Poor’s — from $100 million to $125 million.

About $91 million of the storm costs will be incurred in the third quarter. The parent company of Dominion Virginia Power plans to announce the quarter’s results Tuesday. Another $37 million in related costs will come in the fourth quarter.

Of the total,Dominion will expense $113 million, treating the hurricane costs as a special charge. The rest will be capitalized.

“I think it’s appropriate,” Davenport & Co. analyst Mark Levin said of the company’s accounting. “It’s an extraordinary event.”

Dominion also said its lost-sales margin because of the outages was $12 million. However, it reaffirmed its operating earnings estimates of $4.60 to $4.80 per share for the year.

But the company’s management said it was not yet able to release estimates for the year and third-quarter earnings that include the charges and conform to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

Isabel hit Virginia on Sept. 18, causing 80 percent of Dominion’s electricity customers, or 1.8 million homes and businesses, to go dark. The company restored service in two weeks by drawing on 12,000 workers, including crews from utilities in 22 states and Canada.

Dominion has said it will not seek an increase in its Virginia or North Carolina base rates to recover the expensed costs.

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