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Higher Expenses Hurt WGL In 1Q

Once these most recent quarterly results are finalized, they will be run through TheStreet.com Ratings' model and our ratings will be adjusted accordingly. To keep up to date on all of our ratings, visit TheStreet.com Ratings Screener.

On April 29, 2009, WGL Holdings (WGL - Get Report) reported that its Q2 FY09 net income decreased 7.4% due to higher expenses. Net income for the latest quarter declined to $75.07 million or $1.49 per share from $81.04 million or $1.63 per share in Q2 FY08. Excluding one-time items, the company's operating income declined to $82.79 million or $1.65 per share from $82.53 million or $1.66 per share a year ago. The latest quarterly results missed the most recent consensus estimate of $1.69 per share.

Total operating revenue rose to $1.04 billion from $1.02 billion in the comparable quarter of last year. Revenue from the Regulated Utility segment decreased 4.3% to $642.40 million from $671.39 million. Total utility gas sales and deliveries increased 10.8% to 763.12 million therms from 688.99 million therms. Additionally, sales from the Non-Utility segment, which consists of retail energy-marketing and Ddsign-build energy systems, grew 14.3% to $398.49 million from $348.65 million in the prior year's quarter.

During Q2 FY09, WGL Holdings' average active customer meters inched up 1.0% to 1.07 million from 1.06 million a year ago. Additionally, the company raised its quarterly dividend to $0.37 per share from $0.36 per share for Q2 FY09, payable in May 1, 2009.

Looking forward to FY09, the company lowered its earnings outlook to be in the range of $2.43 per share to $2.55 per share, from the earlier guidance of $2.53 per share to $2.65 per share. The current outlook includes EPS of $2.05 to $2.11 and $0.48 to $0.54 from its regulated utility and unregulated business segments, respectively Furthermore, non-GAAP operating earnings are now anticipated to be in the range of $2.43 per share to $2.55 per share, down from the previous forecast of $2.50 per share to $2.62 per share.

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