said Tuesday that fourth-quarter earnings fell 76% from a year ago, hit by higher costs and an accounting charge.
The St. Louis-based company earned $20 million, or 10 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $83 million, or 42 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted to exclude a $22 million accounting charge, the company earned 21 cents a share. The adjusted results matched Thomson First Call's average analyst estimate.
Fourth-quarter revenue rose 15% to $1.7 billion. Analysts were expecting revenue of $1.4 billion.
Ameren said earnings were helped from improved operating margins, as well as organic growth in its service territory. These benefits were partially offset by increased fuel and purchased power expenses.
The company affirmed its earlier forecast for 2006 earnings of $2.95 to $3.25 a share. Analysts expect the company to earn $3.23 a share.
Ameren shares recently were down 51 cents, or 1%, to $50.09.
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