Xcel Energy Third Quarter 2012 Earnings Report

Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE: XEL) today reported 2012 third quarter GAAP earnings of $398 million, or $0.81 per share compared with 2011 GAAP earnings of $338 million, or $0.69 per share.

Ongoing earnings, which exclude adjustments for certain items, were $0.78 per share for the third quarter of 2012 compared with $0.69 per share in 2011. Third quarter 2012 ongoing earnings increased largely due to increased electric and gas margins driven by various rate increases that went into effect in 2012, partially offset by increased property taxes and interest expense. Third quarter 2012 GAAP earnings also reflect a $0.03 per share positive impact for a tax benefit associated with federal subsidies for prescription drug plans.

“We experienced a solid quarter, with earnings increasing mainly due to both our continued system investments that provide long-term value to our customers and timely cost recovery,” said Ben Fowke, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our third quarter 2012 results also benefited from hot summer weather, although we experienced similar weather in 2011, it was not a variance driver in the period over period quarterly comparison.”

“We had a slow start to the year with unfavorable sales, mild winter weather and certain adverse regulatory decisions. We responded by implementing cost control measures to partially offset the impact of these early headwinds and to position the company to deliver earnings in the lower half of our guidance range. Given the success of our year-to-date cost control measures, combined with hot summer weather, we now expect to deliver 2012 ongoing earnings within our earnings guidance range of $1.75 to $1.85 per share. We also anticipate that our 2012 GAAP earnings will be in the upper half of our guidance range,” said Fowke.

Earnings Adjusted for Certain Items (Ongoing Earnings)

The following table provides a reconciliation of ongoing earnings per share to GAAP earnings per share:
  Three Months Ended Sept. 30   Nine Months Ended Sept. 30
Diluted Earnings (Loss) Per Share 2012   2011 2012   2011
Ongoing (a) diluted earnings per share $

$ 0.69 $ 1.54 $ 1.43
Prescription drug tax benefit (a)  

  -   0.03   -
GAAP diluted earnings per share $

$ 0.69 $ 1.57 $ 1.43

See Note 6.

At 9:00 a.m. CDT today, Xcel Energy will host a conference call to review financial results. To participate in the call, please dial in 5 to 10 minutes prior to the start and follow the operator’s instructions.
US Dial-In: (866) 225-8754
International Dial-In: (480) 629-9818
Conference ID: 4567530

The conference call also will be simultaneously broadcast and archived on Xcel Energy’s website at www.xcelenergy.com. To access the presentation, click on Investor Relations. If you are unable to participate in the live event, the call will be available for replay from 2:00 p.m. CDT on Oct. 25 through 11:59 p.m. CDT on Oct. 26.
Replay Numbers
US Dial-In: (800) 406-7325
International Dial-In: (303) 590-3030
Access Code: 4567530 #

Except for the historical statements contained in this release, the matters discussed herein, are forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Such forward-looking statements, including our 2012 and 2013 full year earnings per share guidance and assumptions, are intended to be identified in this document by the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “objective,” “outlook,” “plan,” “project,” “possible,” “potential,” “should” and similar expressions. Actual results may vary materially. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and we do not undertake any obligation to update them to reflect changes that occur after that date. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to: general economic conditions, including inflation rates, monetary fluctuations and their impact on capital expenditures and the ability of Xcel Energy Inc. and its subsidiaries (collectively, Xcel Energy) to obtain financing on favorable terms; business conditions in the energy industry, including the risk of a slow down in the U.S. economy or delay in growth recovery; trade, fiscal, taxation and environmental policies in areas where Xcel Energy has a financial interest; customer business conditions; actions of credit rating agencies; competitive factors, including the extent and timing of the entry of additional competition in the markets served by Xcel Energy Inc. and its subsidiaries; unusual weather; effects of geopolitical events, including war and acts of terrorism; state, federal and foreign legislative and regulatory initiatives that affect cost and investment recovery, have an impact on rates or have an impact on asset operation or ownership or impose environmental compliance conditions; structures that affect the speed and degree to which competition enters the electric and natural gas markets; costs and other effects of legal and administrative proceedings, settlements, investigations and claims; actions by regulatory bodies impacting our nuclear operations, including those affecting costs, operations or the approval of requests pending before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; financial or regulatory accounting policies imposed by regulatory bodies; availability or cost of capital; employee work force factors; and the other risk factors listed from time to time by Xcel Energy in reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including Risk Factors in Item 1A and Exhibit 99.01 of Xcel Energy Inc.’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2011 and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31 and June 30, 2012.

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