Alliant Energy Profit Declines

The Wisconsin company loses out on its weather-hedging.
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Alliant Energy (LNT) - Get Report said Tuesday that its third-quarter earnings fell 30% from the year-ago period, driven by the impact of weather and foreign-currency losses related to its New Zealand investments.

The company earned $78.8 million, or 67 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $112.5 million, or 96 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting EPS of 99 cents.

Third-quarter revenue rose 1.9% from a year ago to $890.4 million, as against analysts' estimate of $877 million.

The company lowered its fiscal 2006 forecast for earnings from continuing operations, excluding the gain on the pending sale of Alliant Energy's New Zealand investments and debt-repayment premiums, to $2.20 to $2.30 a share from $2.25 to $2.45 a share. Analysts expect full-year earnings of $2.38 a share.

Earnings from continuing operations from the utility business are expected to be $2.10 to $2.20 a share for 2006, compared with $2.10 to $2.30 a share previously forecast.

The company's earnings from utility operations was 73 cents a share for the quarter, down from 97 cents a share, a year ago. The lower earnings from Alliant Energy's utility business were largely due to the net impact of weather and weather-hedging activities on its electric margins, a higher effective income tax rate and higher nuclear-related costs.

The company's shares were trading down $1.03, or 2.6%, at $38.37 Tuesday.

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