Wisconsin Energy Corp. reported first quarter net income from continuing operations of $172.1 million or 74 cents per share, up from $170.9 million, or 72 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.
First quarter 2012 revenues were $1.19 billion, compared with $1.33 billion in the corresponding quarter a year ago. The warmest first quarter in at least 122 years led to a sharp decline in customer demand for natural gas and lower revenues than the company recorded in the first quarter of 2011. "We're pleased with our first quarter results, considering that residential demand for natural gas was down by nearly 24 percent as compared to last year," said Gale Klappa, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "The economy across the region continues to strengthen with iron ore mining, heavy equipment manufacturing, and the producers of rubber and plastic products showing gains." The impact of unusually warm winter temperatures was offset by stronger recovery of fuel costs for power generation, lower operation and maintenance costs, and the impact of the company's share repurchase program. Looking forward, Klappa said, "We're reaffirming our earnings guidance for calendar year 2012 in the range of $2.24 to $2.29 a share."