Warmer Weather Boosts Alliant Energy 3rd-Quarter Profit

By George C. Ford, Reporter


By Liz Blood

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Higher electric sales to customers in the warm summer months fueled Alliant Energy's third-quarter profit to more than the company earned in the same period last year.

The Madison, Wis.-based corporate parent of Interstate Power and Light Co. in Cedar Rapids on Friday reported net income of $150.7 million, or $1.36 per share, in the quarter that ended on Sept. 30 from $122 million, or $1.10 per share, in the third quarter of 2011.

Revenue increased to $887.6 million in the third quarter from $8709 million in the same period last year.

Electricity sales grew 2 percent to $815.3 million in the latest quarter from $796.9 million in the third quarter of 2011. Natural gas sales remained relatively flat at about $46.8 million for the quarter.

Alliant Energy said third-quarter earnings were positively affected by higher electric sales to customers and higher income from Interstate Power and Light's tax benefit rider.

In February 2011, Interstate Power and Light received a rate order from the Iowa Utilities Board authorizing the utility to implement its proposed electric tax benefit rider, which uses income tax benefits from certain tax initiatives to provide retail electric customers in Iowa with credits on their electric bills.

The credits are expected to reduce Interstate Power and Light's electric revenues by about $80 million during the current calendar year. The electric tax benefit rider also results in an equivalent reduction in the utility's income tax expense.

Alliant Energy said the two positive effects on earnings per share were partially offset by higher depreciation and nuclear purchased power capacity expense.

Patricia Kampling, Alliant Energy chairwoman, president and chief executive, said the company is narrowing its fiscal 2012 guidance from utility, corporate services and nonregulated operations to a range of $2.90 to $3.05 per share from previous guidance of $2.75 per $3.05 per share.

The company set 2013 guidance in a range of $2.95 to $3.25 per share.

"In 2013, we expect to see the earnings benefit of increasing Wisconsin Power and Light rate base and allowance for funds used during construction resulting from utility investments, as well as benefits from our numerous tax initiatives," Kampling said. "However, we expect a decline in non-regulated earnings for 2013 due to operating losses from our Franklin County wind project."

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