) reported fourth quarter earnings of 75 cents per share compared
with 53 cents per share in the year-ago quarter. ALLETE's
earnings were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.
In 2012, the company reported earnings per share of $2.58, up
8.0% from the year-ago earnings of $2.39 per share. 2012 earnings
edged out the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.57 per share.
ALLETE's fourth quarter revenue increased 7.0% to $256.0
million from $239.2 million in the year-ago quarter. Quarterly
revenue surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $249.0 million.
Favorable retail and municipal sales and benefits from renewable
tax credits were responsible for the upswing in the top line.
In 2012, revenue registered a 3.5% increase to $961.2 million
from $928.2 million in 2011. Revenue in 2012 was in line with the
Zacks Consensus Estimate.
Sales from the regulated utility operations in the fourth
quarter stood at $232.4 million compared with $219.6 million in
the prior-year quarter. This was driven by increase in
residential and municipal sale volumes supported by volume growth
in the non-regulated energy business.
Total operating expenses were $208.1 million in the fourth
quarter 2012 compared with $205.0 million in the year-ago
quarter. An increase in depreciation as well as cost of fuel and
purchased power led to the cost escalation.
Operating income in the fourth quarter climbed 40.0% to $47.9
million from $34.2 million in 2011. Profit rose on account of the
substantial increase in the top line relative to cost.
Interest expense in the fourth quarter 2012 was $12.1 million
versus $11.0 million in the year-ago quarter.
Cash and short-term investments at year-end 2012 were $80.8
million versus $101.1 million in 2011.
Long-term debt at year-end 2012 was $933.6 million compared
with $857.9 million in 2011.
Other Utility Company Releases
Alliant Energy Corporation
) reported fourth quarter 2012 operating earnings of 64 cents per
share, up 10.3% from the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 58 cents.
TECO Energy Inc.
) fourth quarter 2012 operating earnings of 21 cents per share
trailed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 22 cents.
ALLETE has posted healthy financial results overall in 2012
with both the top and bottom lines performing better than
expected. We anticipate the company's Magnetation program,
partnership venture with Steel Dynamics of Indiana and the Bison
2 and 3 renewable projects will certainly accentuate growth in
the near term.
Also, the company's increasing transition from coal- to
gas-fired units, like the Lasker Energy facility, would fetch
higher profits, going forward. ALLETE at present carries a Zacks
Rank #2 (Buy).
Another Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) utility operator
DTE Energy Inc.
) financial results are yet to be released.
Based in Duluth, MN, 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 Report
DTE ENERGY CO (DTE): Free Stock Analysis
TECO ENERGY (TE): Free Stock Analysis Report
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