Alliant Energy third quarter earnings beat forecasts

Company officials tout performance while controlling customer rates

Alliant Energy, corporate parent of Interstate Power and Light in Cedar Rapids, on Thursday reported third-quarter earnings of $1.56 per share from continuing operations, up from $1.45 per share in the same quarter of 2012.

Analysts on average had been expecting earnings of $1.33 per share from continuing operations, according to Thomson-Reuters.

Madison, Wis.-based Alliant Energy recorded consolidated net income of $157.6 million (attributable to common shareholders) in the quarter that ended on Sept. 30, up from $150.7 million in the same period last year. Revenue slipped to $866.6 million in the most recent quarter from $887.6 million in the third quarter of 2012.

Alliant Energy attributed the quarter-over-quarter increase in earnings primarily to lower purchased power capacity costs related to the Riverside Energy Center, which Wisconsin Power and Light  purchased on Dec. 31, 2012, and lower income tax expense at Interstate Power and Light.

The higher earnings were partially offset by lower quarter-over-quarter electric sales attributed to weather and higher depreciation expense primarily resulting from the purchase of the Riverside Energy Center.

"We have delivered results in accordance with our plan, which included improvements in safety, reliability and customer service while controlling customer rates," said Patricia Kampling, Alliant Energy chairwoman, president and CEO. "As a result of higher than expected electric and gas sales due to weather, we have increased our consolidated 2013 annual earnings guidance."

Alliant Energy is projecting 2013 consolidated net income of $3.15 to $3.30 per share, revised from an earlier forecast of $2.95 to $3.25 per share.

"In 2014, we expect to see the earnings benefit of increasing Interstate Power and Light and Wisconsin Power & Light rate base and allowance for funds used during construction resulting from utility investments," said Kampling. "These increased earnings are expected to have little impact on base rates charged to customers since they are offset by lower purchased power capacity expense and lower pension expense."

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