ALLETE Inc. ( ALE ) reported first
quarter 2013 earnings of 83 cents per share compared with 66 cents
per share in the year-ago quarter. ALLETE's earnings beat the Zacks
Consensus Estimate by 10.6%.
Earnings received a boost from increased electric sales due to a
cold winter, start-up of renewable services and higher returns from
investments in American Transmission Company ("ATC").
ALLETE's first quarter revenue increased 9.9% to $263.8 million
from the year-ago quarter. Quarterly revenue also surpassed the
Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5.8%. Healthy sales across all customer
classes as well as benefits from renewable tax credits led to the
upsurge in the top line.
Sales from the regulated utility operations in the first quarter
stood at $241.4 million, up 10.4% from the prior-year quarter. This
was driven by increase in residential, commercial and municipal
sale volumes supported by volume growth in the non-regulated energy
ALLETE's total electricity sale volume in the first quarter rose
3.1% year over year to 3,472 million Kilowatt-hours.
Total operating expenses were $219.4 million in the first
quarter 2013, up 8.8% from the year-ago quarter. A 12.2% rise in
cost of fuel and purchased power led to the cost escalation. This
was further compounded by a 4.8% surge in operations and
Operating income in the first quarter jumped 15.6% to $44.4
million from the prior-year period. Profit rose on account of the
substantial increase in the top line despite the cost pressure.
Interest expense in the first quarter 2013 was $12.3 million
versus $11.0 million in the year-ago quarter.
Cash and short-term investments as of Mar 31, 2013 were $77.3
million versus $80.8 million as of Dec 31, 2012.
Long-term debt as of Mar 31, 2013 was $975.1 million compared
with $933.6 million at year-end 2012.
ALLETE reiterated its 2013 earnings expectation of $2.58-$2.78
per share taking into account robust industrial demand, higher cost
recovery revenue, increased depreciation and interest expenses,
federal production tax credits and dilution from equity issuances
in the range 10-15 cents.
Other Utility Company Releases
Alliant Energy Corporation ( LNT ) reported first
quarter 2013 operating earnings of 72 cents per share, up 16.1%
from the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 62 cents.
TECO Energy Inc. 's ( TE ) first quarter 2013
operating earnings of 19 cents per share exceeded the Zacks
Consensus Estimate of 17 cents.
DTE Energy Company. ( DTE ) posted first
quarter earnings of $1.34 per share comfortably surpassing the
Zacks Consensus Estimate by 31 cents.
ALLETE has posted strong financial results in the first quarter
of 2013 with both the top and bottom line performing better than
expected. The company is expected to benefit from the Essar Steel
Minnesota midstream project which began operations from Apr
Furthermore, ALLETE's ambitious Energy Forward plan is expected
to improve service quality thereby contributing to its
profitability. Its proposed scheme to add 100 megawatts of wind
capacity will also bode well for the company given the positive
climate for renewable generation in the U.S. ALLETE at present
carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Based in Duluth, Minn., ALLETE together with its subsidiaries
primarily engages in the generation, transmission, and distribution
of coal-fired, hydro, wind, and biomass co-fired power in the
United States.ALLETE INC (ALE): Free Stock Analysis ReportDTE ENERGY CO (DTE): Free Stock Analysis ReportALLIANT ENGY CP (LNT): Free Stock Analysis
ReportTECO ENERGY (TE): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment