raised its earnings guidance for the first quarter but said it was postponing the plans to for an initial public offering of its
affiliate, citing current market conditions.
One analyst's first-quarter estimate of 30 cents a share is posted on
First Call/Thomson Financial
, and Avista said it could beat that estimate by as much as 10% to 15%. The forecast implies that the energy company could earn between 33 cents and 35 cents. Avista said the continued volatility in the energy markets helped boost earnings from the company's nonregulated energy trading and marketing business.
Avista, which is based in Spokane, Wash., stood by its previous profit estimate of 90 cents to $1 a share for 2001. Analysts expect the company to earn 98 cents.
New York Stock Exchange
trading, Avista gained 76 cents, or 4.7%, to $17.01.