swung to a loss in the fourth quarter, hit by asset valuation charges related to its Brazil investments.
Excluding the charges, however, Alliant's earnings beat Wall Street targets, sending shares higher.
The energy services provider posted a fourth-quarter loss of $63.9 million, or 55 cents a share, compared with a profit of $42.7 million, or 37 cents a share, a year earlier.
Excluding charges related to debt and the Brazil investments, earnings were $67.3 million, or 57 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 35 cents a share. A year earlier, earnings before items were $58.4 million, or 51 cents a share.
Fourth-quarter revenue rose 22% from a year ago to $906.8 million, above analysts' projection of $801.8 million.
For 2006, the company expects earnings from continuing operations of $2.10 to $2.30 a share, excluding debt repayment premiums. Analysts estimate 2006 earnings per share of $2.09.
"We are satisfied with the strong results our domestic utility business produced in 2005," Alliant said. "Our total consolidated earnings were obviously battered by the charges related to our Brazil investments and non-regulated debt reduction activities."
The company took a $198.2 million fourth-quarter hit as asset valuation charges for its Brazil investments, which it sold last month for $152 million.
Revenue from domestic utilities rose 21.3% to $857.9 million. This segment reported improved earnings due to higher electric margins and the impact of issues resolved in a federal income tax audit. These items were partially offset by higher depreciation and generation and regulatory costs.
For the full year of 2005, the company posted a loss of $7.7 million, or 7 cents a share, on revenue of $3.28 billion. In the previous year, the company earned $145.5 million, or $1.28 a share, on a revenue of $2.8 billion.
The company's shares recently were trading at $31.55, up $1.34, or 4.4%.
This story was created through a joint venture between TheStreet.com and IRIS.