Alliant Energy Corporation (Alliant Energy) has reported net income of $72.6 million for the first quarter of 2009, compared with the net income of $68.1 million in the year-ago quarter. It has also reported earnings of $0.66 per share for the first quarter of 2009, compared with the earnings of $0.62 per share in the year-ago quarter.
EPS for the utility, non-regulated, and parent were impacted a total of $0.36 per share for various nonrecurring, non-cash state income tax items.
EPS for Alliant Energy’s utility business were negatively impacted by several items anticipated when the company released its earnings guidance for 2009. Those items include a negative $0.03 per share impact for lower industrial sales as a result of the economy and a $0.09 per share reduction for higher transmission and pension expense at Interstate Power and Light Company. The latter expenses are expected to be recovered on a prospective basis in interim rates that were implemented on March 27, 2009. Additional negative earnings drivers included a $0.04 per share reduction in gas margins due to the impacts of lower commercial and industrial sales and lower retail gas rates at Wisconsin Power and Light Company and a $0.03 per share reduction due to milder weather.
The lower earnings in the first quarter of 2009 for Alliant Energy’s non-regulated business were primarily due to operating results at RMT that were $0.05 per share lower than the first quarter of 2008. The primary driver of RMT’s loss was lower labor utilization rates resulting from reduced construction activity in the wind industry due to limited financing options for developers. Results at Alliant Energy’s parent company were negatively impacted by lower balances and lower interest rates on cash and short-term investments.
“Excluding the non-recurring state income tax impacts, our first quarter results were significantly lower than the same period last year, however many of the drivers were anticipated in our original guidance,” said Bill Harvey, Alliant Energy chairman, president, and chief executive officer. “Industrial sales were weaker than we expected and we are lowering our retail sales forecast for 2009 by an additional 3 percentage points. Despite the challenges presented by the economy, we still expect to meet our original earnings guidance for the utility business as a result of aggressive cost cutting efforts that are constrained only by our assurance not to compromise safety or reliability. In our non-regulated businesses we see a resurgence occurring in the renewables market and RMT has recently signed several contracts for wind construction projects that we expect to generate increased revenues in the coming months. We believe our most difficult quarter is behind us and anticipate producing stronger results for the balance of the year.”