Wisconsin Energy earnings fall on acquisition costs

Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Energy Corp. reported first quarter net income of $195.8 million, or 86 cents per share, down from $207.6 million, or 91 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2014.

The power generation company attributed the decrease to costs incurred in its planned $9.1 billion acquisition of Integrys Energy Group Inc. Those costs impacted earnings by about 4 cents per share.

Operating income was $358.8 million, down from $381.8 million in the same period a year ago.

Revenue was $1.4 billion in the quarter, down from $1.7 billion in the first quarter of 2014. The company attributed the decrease to last year’s polar vortex and higher spot market prices for natural gas.

“While this winter was colder than normal, we did not experience the extreme conditions that persisted throughout the winter months last year,” said Gale Klappa, chairman and chief executive officer.
“However, the second month of this year was actually colder than February of 2014, and we delivered more natural gas to our retail customers this February than during any other February in history – exceeding the previous record by 5.5 percent.

“Overall, the quarter was marked by high reliability and effective cost controls. In addition, we continued to see an uptick in customer growth, particularly in our natural gas distribution business.”

Wisconsin Energy has added 9,800 natural gas customers and 6,100 electric customers over the past year.

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