AP NEWS

Rate increases, lower expenses lift profits at Xcel Energy

October 26, 2017 GMT

Xcel Energys third-quarter profit rose 7 percent as the company beat stock analysts expectations.

The Minneapolis-based utility Thursday posted earnings of $492 million, or 97 cents a share, up from $458 million, or 90 cents a share, for the same time a year ago. The Zacks consensus earnings forecast was 92 cents a share.

The increase was driven by electricity rate increases including in Minnesota combined with reduced operating and maintenance expenses and other factors.

Third quarter earnings were strong, chief executive Ben Fowke said in a statement. Results lined up with our expectations and we expect to deliver earnings within our narrowed guidance range.

Xcel said it now expects full-year profit to be in a range of $2.27 to $2.32 a share, narrowing in on from its previous range of $2.25 to $2.35.

The company also raised its long-term earnings growth rate target from 4 to 6 percent to a range of 5 to 6 percent. It also established profit guidance for 2018 of $2.37 to $2.47 a share.

Xcel recorded third-quarter revenue of $3.02 billion, down from $3.04 billion from a year ago and below the Zacks consensus estimate of $3.19 billion.

Xcel is the largest utility in Minnesota and Colorado and also serves parts of Wisconsin, the Dakotas, Texas, New Mexico and Michigans Upper Peninsula. The companys stock was at $49.51, up 13 cents in morning trading.

Mike Hughlett 612-673-7003