IDACORP Profit Slides

A goodwill writeoff is to blame.
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Idacorp

(IDA) - Get Report

, the holding company of Idaho Power and other subsidiaries, said fourth-quarter earnings fell 47% from a year ago due to a goodwill write-off. Earnings in fourth quarter of 2004 were also boosted by an income tax benefit of $5.2 million.

The company earned $7.5 million, or 18 cents a share, compared with $14.3 million, or 37 cents a share, a year ago.

Idacorp was hit by a pretax goodwill impairment charge of about $10 million, or 24 cents a share at Idacomm, the company's telecommunications subsidiary. This was partially offset by a reduction in Idacorp Energy's allowance for bad debts of $9.5 million or 13 cents a share.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 30 cents a share in the most recent quarter.

Fourth-quarter revenue rose 7% to $210.7 million, beating analysts' estimates of $200.4 million.

Operating profit rose 13.8% to $25.9 million while operating profit margin rose 72 basis points to 12.3%. At Idaho Power, the company's regulated utility, profit increased to $16.5 million from $14.6 million a year ago.

"The current stream flow forecast indicates better operating conditions in 2006 that should provide the opportunity for further improvement if we are successful in obtaining a favorable resolution to our current Idaho rate case," the company said.

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