Allete first-quarter earnings fall

  • Article by: SUSAN FEYDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 2, 2012 - 10:06 AM

The results were expected by the Duluth-based company.

Allete Inc. Wednesday reported lower first-quarter 2012 earnings that were in line with its estimates and reaffirmed its earnings forecast for the year.

Earnings were 66 cents per share on net income of $24.4 million and operating revenue of $240 million, compared with $1.07 on net income of $37.2 million and operating revenue of $242.2 million in 2011. Last year's quarter of 2011 included the reversal of a $6.2 million, or 18 cent-per-share, deferred tax liability from a settlement agreement approved as part of Minnesota Power's 2010 rate case.

The Duluth-based company's regulated operations segment, which includes results from Minnesota Power, Superior Water, Light & Power, and the company's investment in the American Transmission Co. recorded net income of $24.4 million versus $38.4 million. Last year's results also included the $6.2 million deferred tax liability reversal.

The company said this year's results were impacted by higher current cost recovery rider revenue, higher costs under the Square Butte purchased power agreement, increased operating and maintenance expenses, and higher depreciation expense.

Sales to Minnesota Power's industrial customers in 2012 were up 1.7 percent, fueled by sales to taconite customers that are operating close to full capacity. Unseasonably warm weather during the quarter adversely affected sales to residential customers, the company said.

Allete maintained its full-year earnings guidance of $2.45 to $2.65 per share. The company earned $2.65 a share last year.

Susan Feyder • 612-673-1723

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