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Black Hills Corp. Reports 20 Percent Increase In 2012 Third Quarter Adjusted Earnings Per Share, Reaffirms 2012 Earnings Guidance And Initiates 2013 Earnings Guidance

Discontinued Operations

Third Quarter 2012 Compared with Third Quarter 2011

On Feb. 29, 2012, the company sold the outstanding stock of Enserco Energy Inc., our Energy Marketing segment, which resulted in this segment being reported as discontinued operations. Cash proceeds were approximately $166.3 million, subject to final post-closing adjustments. For comparative purposes, all prior results of our Energy Marketing segment have been restated to reflect the reclassification of this segment to discontinued operations on a consistent basis.

For the three months ended Sept. 30, 2012, we recorded a loss from discontinued operations of $0.2 million.

Pursuant to the provisions of the stock purchase agreement, the buyer requested purchase price adjustments totaling $7.2 million. We contested this proposed adjustment and estimated the amount owed at $1.4 million, which is accrued for in the loss from discontinued operations for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2012. If we do not reach a negotiated agreement with the buyer regarding the purchase price adjustment, resolution will occur through the dispute resolution provision of the stock purchase agreement.

ABOUT BLACK HILLS CORP.

Black Hills Corp. (NYSE: BKH) – a diversified energy company with a tradition of exemplary service and a vision to be the energy partner of choice – is based in Rapid City, S.D., with corporate offices in Denver and Papillion, Neb. The company serves 765,000 natural gas and electric utility customers in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. The company's non-regulated businesses generate wholesale electricity, and produce natural gas, crude oil and coal. Black Hills employees partner to produce results that improve life with energy. More information is available at www.blackhillscorp.com.

CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This news release includes “forward-looking statements” as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. We make these forward-looking statements in reliance on the safe harbor protections provided under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this news release that address activities, events or developments that we expect, believe or anticipate will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. This includes, without limitations, our 2012 and 2013 earnings guidance. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions which we believe are reasonable based on current expectations and projections about future events and industry conditions and trends affecting our business. However, whether actual results and developments will conform to our expectations and predictions is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that, among other things, could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including without limitation, the risk factors described in Item 1A of Part I of our 2011 Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC, and other reports that we file with the SEC from time to time, and the following:

  • The accuracy of our assumptions on which our earnings guidance is based;
  • Our ability to continue our continuous improvement program and cost-reduction efforts to mitigate the impacts of earnings challenges in the first quarter through the remainder of 2012;
  • Our ability to obtain adequate cost recovery for our utility operations through regulatory proceedings and favorable rulings in periodic applications to recover costs for capital additions, fuel, transmission and purchased power and the timing in which the new rates would go into effect;
  • Our ability to complete our capital program in a cost-effective and timely manner;
  • Our ability to successfully resolve the purchase price adjustments relating to the sale of Enserco Energy Inc.; and
  • Other factors discussed from time to time in our filings with the SEC.

New factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements emerge from time-to-time, and it is not possible for us to predict all such factors, or the extent to which any such factor or combination of factors may cause actual results to differ from those contained in any forward-looking statement. We assume no obligation to update publicly any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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