Rising rates across several territories and a reduction in operating and maintenance expenses helped Xcel Energy's first-quarter profit rise 57 percent over a year ago.

The electric and gas utility's revenue, however, fell as mild weather sapped demand for heat.

"There's always the art vs. science of capturing the impact of weather, and we did have some mild weather in the quarter," CEO Ben Fowke said in a conference call with analysts.

Minneapolis-based Xcel posted profits of $241 million, or 47 cents per share, up from $152 million, or 30 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. Revenue was $2.8 billion, down from $3 billion a year ago.

Stock analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting profits of 46 cents a share on sales of $3 billion.

Stripping out weather effects, Xcel's revenue still declined a tad, partly because of lower per-customer use — i.e., increased energy efficiency — as well as a rise in the number of multifamily housings, which use less energy than single dwellings.

"It was a good quarter, pretty much what you would expect from Xcel," said Andy Smith, a stock analyst for Edward Jones.

Xcel's stock closed Monday at $41.46, up 70 cents or 1.7 percent.

The stock — trading as low as $32 last June — has been rising in recent months and hit a 52-week high of $42 on April 1.

Xcel reduced its full-year electric sales growth forecast to 0.5 percent from a range of 0.5 to 1 percent. The company Monday reaffirmed its 2016 earnings guidance of $2.12 to $2.27 per share.

Xcel has its largest businesses in Minnesota and Colorado, and also operates in Wisconsin, the Dakotas and three other states.