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Otter Tail Corporation Announces Strong First Quarter Earnings

Increases 2014 Earnings Guidance to $1.60 to $1.80 per Share

Board of Directors Declares Quarterly Dividend

FERGUS FALLS, Minn., May 5, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Otter Tail Corporation (Nasdaq:OTTR) today announced financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2014.

Summary:

  • Consolidated revenues were $240.5 million compared with $218.0 million for the first quarter of 2013.
  • Consolidated net income and diluted earnings from continuing operations totaled $21.4 million and $0.59 per share, respectively, compared with $15.2 million and $0.41 per share for the first quarter of 2013.
  • The corporation is increasing its 2014 earnings guidance range to $1.60 to $1.80 per diluted share from its previously announced range of $1.55 to $1.75, based on its strong first quarter performance.

CEO Overview

"With consolidated revenues up more than 10% and consolidated net income from continuing operations up over 40% compared with first quarter last year, we are more than pleased with our 2014 first quarter results," said Otter Tail Corporation CEO Jim McIntyre.

"Late last year and again this quarter investors saw an earnings uplift from our utility rate base growth strategy. The regulatory mechanisms we discussed in investor communications throughout last year have taken effect, allowing for a return on the funds we have invested in three CapX2020 transmission projects, two 345-kv transmission projects deemed 'multi-value projects,' or MVPs, by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), and the environmental upgrade at Big Stone Plant.

"In addition, Otter Tail Power Company's electricity sales through a prolonged, colder-than-normal winter boosted our electric segment net income.

"Earnings from our manufacturing and infrastructure companies under Varistar, although down in some cases compared with first quarter last year, were generally in line with our expectations for first quarter this year—the result of our initiatives to drive operational excellence. Foley, in particular, continues to improve its profitability through better project management and bid estimating. And corporate costs were down significantly.

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