said fourth-quarter earnings rose 2% from a year ago. Its higher transmission revenue was negated by higher maintenance expenses due to storms and a decline in gas revenue.
The Boston-based energy delivery company earned $38.7 million, or 36 cents a share, for the quarter, compared with $37.96 million, or 35 cents a share, for the same period a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 37 cents a share in the most recent quarter.
Fourth-quarter revenue rose 14% from a year ago to $812.6 million. Analysts were expecting revenue of $646 million.
The company's electric infrastructure was battered by an unusually high number of storms, increasing the operating and maintenance costs, which offset higher transmission revenue. The cost for acquiring electricity and gas almost doubled because of the hurricanes.
The company said that Massachusetts regulators approved a seven-year rate settlement that would provide customers with an initial $20 million cut in electric rates and a temporary $18 million rate cut during the current winter heating season.
NSTAR also said that its board of trustees voted to increase the dividend by 4.3% to an annual rate of $1.21 a share from the previous rate of $1.16 a share.
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