The decrease in third-quarter 2013 net income was primarily due to lower olefin margins from lost production at Williams Partners' Geismar olefins plant. An increase in fee-based revenues at Williams Partners more than offset a decrease in natural gas liquids (NGL) margins driven by continued ethane rejection. Lower costs and initial insurance recoveries related to the Geismar incident also partially offset these negative impacts during the third quarter.
For the first nine months of 2013, Williams reported net income of $444 million, or $0.65 per share on a diluted basis, compared with net income of $710 million, or $1.15 per share, for the same time period in 2012.
The decline in net income for the first nine months of 2013 was primarily due to lower NGL margins at Williams Partners driven by ethane rejection, as well as the absence of $207 million of income in first-quarter 2012 associated with the sale of certain of the company's former Venezuela operations, of which $144 million was recorded within discontinued operations.
Adjusted Income from Continuing Operations
Adjusted income from continuing operations for third-quarter 2013 was $130 million, or $0.19 per share, compared with $161 million, or $0.25 per share for third-quarter 2012. Year-to-date through Sept. 30, adjusted income from continuing operations were $411 million, or $0.60 per share, compared with $535 million, or $0.86 per share.
During the third quarter and the first nine months of 2013, lower NGL margins at Williams Partners, including the effects of system-wide ethane rejection, drove the decline in adjusted income from continuing operations. Operating costs increased related to growth in businesses acquired in 2012. Lower olefins margins at Williams Partners also impacted adjusted results for the third quarter. These were partially offset by higher fee-based revenues.
Alan Armstrong, Williams' president and chief executive officer said, "Williams performed well in the third quarter. Growth in Williams Partners' fee-based business, along with our continued focus on cost control, more than offset the decline in NGL margins; however, the downtime at the Geismar plant negatively impacted our results.
"Given our diverse foothold in the energy infrastructure space, our large-scale fee-based assets and the tremendous development opportunities we're pursuing, we expect strong cash flow growth from Williams Partners and Access Midstream Partners to drive 20 percent annual cash dividend growth for the company through 2015.
"We remain keenly focused on executing a multi-billion dollar growth program over the next several years to further expand our capabilities and connections from supply areas in the Gulf of Mexico, the Mid-Continent, Canada and Northeast U.S. to growing demand centers throughout the eastern seaboard and southeast to the Gulf Coast petrochemical complex, as well as overseas to growing LPG markets."
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