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Alliant Energy Corporation reported second-quarter 2013 operating earnings of 59 cents per share, up 7.3% from the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 55 cents. Earnings were a penny higher than the year-ago figure.

Earnings in the reported quarter benefited from lower purchased power capacity costs related to the Riverside Energy Center.

Total Revenue

Total revenue at the end of the second quarter was $718 million, up 4% from $690.3 million in the year-ago period.

Revenues were also 5.1% higher than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $683 million.

Highlights of the Release

Total operating expenses were $614.8 million, up 5.7% from $581.5 million incurred in the year-ago period.

Operating income was $103.2 million, down 5.1% from $108.8 million in the year-ago quarter.

Interest expenses increased to $42.5 million from $38.6 million in the year-ago quarter.

Financial Highlights

Cash and cash equivalents as of Jun 30, 2013, were $11.5 million versus $21.2 million as of Dec 31, 2012.

Long-term debt was $3.14 billion as of Jun 30, 2013, compared with $3.13 billion as of Dec 31, 2012.

Cash flow from operating activities in first half of 2013 was $423.3 million versus $339.2 million in the comparable period of 2012.

Guidance

Alliance Energy reiterated its earnings per share guidance for 2013 in the band of $2.95 to $3.25.  

Other Company Releases

Entergy Corporation reported earnings of $1.01 per share in the second quarter, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 98 cents by 3.06%.

CMS Energy Corp. reported second-quarter 2013 operating earnings of 29 cents per share, 14.7% lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 34 cents.

Northeast Utilities reported earnings of 55 cents in the second quarter of 2013, up 7.8% from the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 51 cents.

Our View

Alliant Energy reported solid results in the reported quarter, surpassing our expectation.. The economy in Alliant’s service territory is showing gradual signs of recovery as evidenced by its year-over-year increase, albeit marginal, in retail electricity and gas customers.

Alliant was able to register an increase in gas sales volume from the prior-year quarter, while electricity sales volume declined 0.8% year over year due to less favorable weather.

Alliant Energy is consistently working to improve its generation capability and lower its emission footprint. One of its long-term plans is to invest $400 million within the next five years in Iowa for electric and gas energy efficiency programs. The move towards efficient and clean generation is prudent given the increasing regulation and restriction in the U.S. on carbon emissions.

Based in Madison, Wis., Alliant Energy Corporation was founded in 1917. The company provides services to one million electric and 415,000 natural gas consumers located in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. With a market cap of $5.94 billion the company has 4,055 full time employees. Alliant Energy retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
 

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