Publish date:

Utilities Boost Avista's Income

Quarterly earnings still miss consensus estimates.

Once these most recent quarterly results are finalized, they will be run through Ratings' model and our ratings will be adjusted accordingly. To keep up to date on all of our ratings, visit Ratings Screener.

On Feb. 18, 2009,


(AVA) - Get Avista Corporation Report

reported a 24.2% surge in its fourth quarter 2008 net income boosted by increased earnings from Avista Utilities. Net income increased to $17.49 million or $0.32 per share from $14.07 million or $0.26 per share a year ago. The latest quarterly earnings missed the consensus estimate of $0.39 per share.

TheStreet Recommends

During Q4 FY08, total operating revenue grew 15.7% to $447.46 million from $386.90 million a year ago, fueled by strong growth from Avista Utilities and Advantage IQ business segments. Segment-wise, the Avista Utilities' retail electric revenues ascended 10.4% to $173.58 million, whereas wholesale electric revenue rose 34.0% to $30.79 million. Further, the Avista Utilities retail natural gas revenue grew marginally to $143.98 million from $143.62 million, while wholesale natural gas revenue jumped 92.0% to $59.41 million. Other electric revenues augmented 40.8% to $4.99 million, while Transportation and other natural gas revenues were up 13.1% to $2.98 million. Revenue from the Advantage IQ segment rose 37.1% year-over-year to $17.34 million. However, Other revenues were down 14.7% to $10.20 million.

Looking into the operational metrics, retail electric sales fell 0.7% to 2.36 billion kilowatt hour (kWh), while wholesale electric sales surged 68.4% to 458.00 million kWh. Sales of fuel soared more than three times to $4.20 million from $1.30 million. Retail electric customers at the end of the period grew marginally to 354,657 from 351,512, while retail natural gas customers were up 1.1% to 314,102 in Q4 FY08. During the last quarter, AVA delivered 246.94 million therms of natural gas, which is a 22.1% increase over the year-ago quarter.

Recently, AVA declared a quarterly dividend of $0.18 per share payable on March 13, 2009.

For FY08, the company's net income mounted 91.3% to $73.62 million or $1.36 per share from $38.48 million or $0.72 per share a year ago. Total operating revenues rose 18.3% to $1.68 billion from $1.42 billion in FY07.

Looking forward to FY09, Avista Corp. reaffirmed its EPS guidance to be in the range of $1.40 to $1.60.

A detailed report covering this quarterly release is now available. To purchase the report, click here.