WASHINGTON (AP) ¿ WGL Holdings Inc., a natural gas and energy provider, on Wednesday raised its outlook for its 2009 fiscal year, saying it anticipates increased earnings from its unregulated business.

WGL said it expects to earn $2.53 to $2.65 per share for the fiscal year, up from the company's estimate in February that it would earn $2.41 to $2.53.

The company estimates the unregulated business will represent 48 to 54 cents per share of that earnings estimate.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect WGL to earn $2.40 per share for the year.

Shares of WGL rose 26 cents to close at $33.32 Wednesday.

Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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