WEC Energy benefits from warmer temperatures

Third quarter profit soars

WEC Energy Group headquarters building
WEC Energy Group's Milwaukee corporate headquarters.

The air conditioning was at full blast for WEC Energy Group Inc. customers from July to September, as warmer-than-average temperatures drove the Milwaukee-based company’s earnings higher.

WEC Energy Group headquarters building
WEC Energy Group’s Milwaukee corporate headquarters.

WEC beat analysts’ per-share estimates by 8 cents, with third quarter net income of $217 million, or 68 cents per share. That’s up from $182.5 million, or 58 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2015.

WEC Energy Group was established on June 29, 2015, with Milwaukee-based WE Energies parent Wisconsin Energy Corp.’s $9.1 billion acquisition of Chicago-based Integrys Energy Group. It is the eighth largest natural gas distributor in the U.S., with 4.4 million electric and natural gas customers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.

“Our results reflect the positive impact from the Integrys acquisition and warmer-than-normal weather in the third quarter,” said Allen Leverett, president and chief executive officer. “This was the second-warmest third quarter in southeastern Wisconsin in the past 84 years.”

Operating income was $399 million in the third quarter, up from $345.7 million a year ago.

Revenue for the combined firm was $1.7 billion in the third quarter, flat from 2015. It fell short of analyst predictions, which pegged sales at $2.2 billion.

Over the 12 months ending in September, WEC’s utilities added about 38,000 customers. The Wisconsin utilities alone added 7,000 more electric customers and almost 13,000 natural gas customers year-over-year.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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