NEW YORK (AP) ¿ WGL Holdings Inc., a natural gas and energy provider, reported a fiscal fourth-quarter net loss, driven by the seasonal nature of utility operations and the corresponding reduced demand for natural gas during this period.

Results for the quarter were nearly unchanged from the prior-year period. On Thursday after the market closed, the company posted a net loss of $11.1 million, or 22 cents per share, compared with a loss of $11.2 million, or 22 cents per share during the same period last year.

Excluding special items, adjusted net loss for the quarter amounted to 25 cents per share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters estimated a loss of 31 cents per share, on average. Analysts typically exclude one-time items.

Revenue climbed 5 percent to $412.8 million, up from $391.9 million in the prior-year period.

For the full-year, earnings rose 3.3 percent to $120.4 million, or $2.39 per share, compared with $116.5 million, or $2.33 per share, during the same period last year. Revenue increased 3 percent to $2.71 billion, up from $2.63 billion in 2008.

WGL Holdings estimated 2010 earnings in a range between $2.21 per share and $2.33 per share.

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