Questar Earnings Rise

The company raises guidance.
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Questar

(STR)

posted a 44% rise in first-quarter earnings and raised its guidance for this year.

The Salt Lake City-based energy company earned $137.16 million, or $1.57 a share, in the quarter, compared with $95.17 million, or $1.10 a share, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting $1.40 a share in the most recent quarter.

First-quarter revenue was up 34% from a year-ago period to $911.37 million as against analysts' expectation of $765.2 million.

The company raised its full year earnings guidance to $4.50 to $4.80 a share from previous guidance of $4.30 to $4.60 a share, while analysts estimated earnings of $4.62 a share.

First-quarter operating profit increased 41.1% from a year-ago period to $230.94 million and operating margin rose 128 basis points to 25.3%.

Revenue from Questar Gas, the company's retail gas-distribution utility, increased 35.9% to $466.94 million.

Revenue from market resources which conducts natural gas and oil exploration, development and production, gas gathering and processing, wholesale gas and oil marketing and gas storage, increased 32% to $415.08 million.

Revenue from Questar Pipeline, a subsidiary that provides interstate natural gas transportation and storage services, increased 42% to 25.44 million.

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