Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE: XEL) today reported 2011 GAAP earnings of $841 million, or $1.72 per share compared with 2010 GAAP earnings of $756 million, or $1.62 per share.
Ongoing earnings for 2011, which exclude adjustments for certain items, were $1.72 per share compared with $1.62 per share in 2010. Ongoing earnings increased primarily due to higher electric margins as a result of warmer than normal summer weather across our service territories and rate increases in various states. The higher margins were partially offset by expected increases in operating and maintenance expenses, depreciation, interest expense and property taxes. The increase in expenses was largely driven by capital investment in Xcel Energy’s utility business.
“We had an excellent year in 2011,” said Ben Fowke, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We delivered earnings in the upper half of our guidance range, which represents the seventh consecutive year in which we have met or exceeded our earnings guidance. We exceeded our energy efficiency and conservation program targets. In addition, we provided excellent customer service and reliability despite severe weather across our service territory during the latter half of the year. Finally, the recent decision by the D.C. Circuit to stay the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule will provide us more time to comply with the rule in a cost-effective manner in Texas, preventing our customers from being burdened by significant cost increases and avoid potential reliability concerns.”
“While it is early in the year, we are facing headwinds in 2012. The decision by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to deny our request for interim rates will increase regulatory lag in Colorado, although the impact will be partially offset by the CPUC’s approval of deferred accounting for a portion of our interim rate request. In addition, we are experiencing sluggish electric and natural gas sales, warmer than normal winter weather and higher than anticipated property taxes. However, we are committed to achieving our earnings guidance range and we have implemented cost reductions to help offset the impact of these negative factors. As a result, we expect 2012 earnings per share to be in the lower half of our $1.75 to $1.85 guidance range,” stated Fowke.
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