Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE: XEL) today reported 2013 third quarter GAAP earnings of $365 million, or $0.73 per share, compared with 2012 GAAP earnings of $398 million, or $0.81 per share. Ongoing earnings, which exclude adjustments for certain items, were $0.77 per share for the third quarter of 2013 compared with $0.78 per share in 2012. Third quarter 2013 ongoing earnings declined as a result of cooler weather and higher operating and maintenance expenses. While third quarter 2013 weather was warmer than normal, it was cooler than the third quarter of 2012. These factors were partially offset by rate increases in various states. Third quarter 2013 GAAP earnings include a $0.04 per share charge for a potential SPS customer refund based on FERC orders issued in August 2013 related to a 2004 complaint regarding the allocation of system average fuel costs and base rates. Third quarter 2012 GAAP earnings reflect the $0.03 per share positive impact for a tax benefit associated with federal subsidies for prescription drug plans. “While the final electric rate increase in Minnesota was less than expected, the combination of favorable weather and effective management actions position us to deliver 2013 ongoing earnings in the upper half of our guidance range,” stated Ben Fowke, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “In addition, we have updated our financial objectives. We are increasing our dividend growth rate objective to 4 to 6 percent to align with our annual earnings per share growth rate of 4 to 6 percent that should allow us to provide an attractive total return for our shareholders for years to come. We are also introducing our 2014 ongoing earnings guidance of $1.90 to $2.05 per share.” “Finally, we faced another operational challenge with the severe flooding in Colorado, a challenge we again successfully met. Repairing miles of natural gas pipe and thousands of gas and electric meters is substantially complete; again clearly demonstrating that we are well prepared for such events,” said Fowke.