Vectren ( VVC), an energy holding company, said its first-quarter earnings rose 2.7%, limited by higher gas prices and warmer weather.

The Evansville, Ind.-based company earned $57.6 million, or 76 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $56.1 million, or 74 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding Synfuels-related results, the company earned 75 cents a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 79 cents a share in the most recent quarter.

First-quarter revenue rose 14.4% to $774.5 million as against analysts' expectation of $723.4 million.

The company expects to earn $1.65 a share to $1.80 a share this year. Vectren has reduced expected contributions from Synfuels to 4 cents a share to 5 cents a share from 16 cents a share to 17 cents a share. Analysts estimate stands at $1.88 a share. Gas utility segment revenue, which contributed nearly 74% of the total revenue for the first quarter, rose 10.8% from the year-ago period to $572.7 million. Revenue from the electric utility segment increased 11.1% to $105.2 million and the energy services segment rose 46.8% to $96.6 million.

Separately, the company said it received regulatory approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to continue to utilize the natural gas supply services of ProLiance Energy till 2011. ProLiance, a joint venture between Vectren Energy Delivery and Citizen Gas and Coke Utility , manages their gas supply portfolios.

Vectren fell 12 cents to $26.48.

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