Alliant Energy

(LNT) - Get Report

said its first-quarter profits fell sharply on continuing softness in the economy and unusually warm weather, and the company cut its 2002 outlook.

The energy company posted adjusted net income of $4.4 million, or 5 cents a share, down sharply from $36.0 million, or 45 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial/First Call had been expecting 34 cents a share.

On a GAAP basis, net income was $9.7 million, or 11 cents a share, up from $9.2 million, or 12 cents a share, last year, including income related to the valuation of electricity derivatives held by Alliant's Australian investment.

The company said the drop in adjusted income was the result of lower oil and gas prices, lower utility earnings, mild weather in the first quarter, and a sluggish economy in the upper Midwest.

As a result of these conditions, Alliant cut its outlook for 2002. The company now sees EPS in the range of $2.10 to $2.30, down from the company's original guidance of $2.45 to $2.65 a share. Analysts had been expecting to see $2.50 a share, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

Shares of Alliant closed at $30.83 on Friday before the earnings release.