MADISON – Alliant Energy Corp.
on Thursday said its net income beat analysts’ forecast and said
earnings and its stock dividend are forecast to rise next year.
Madison-based Alliant, which is the parent company of Wisconsin
Power & Light Co., is an electrical and natural gas utility
serving southern Wisconsin, as well as an Iowa utility.
Net income was $157.6 million, or $1.42 per share, compared with
$150.7 million, or $1.36 per share, in last year’s third
quarter. Operating earnings of $1.43 were 9 cents higher than
analysts were forecasting.
The company attributed the costs savings to the Riverside
natural gas-fired power plant in Beloit that offset lower sales
this summer linked to cooler temperatures.
"We have delivered results in accordance with our plan, which
included improvements in safety, reliability and customer
service while controlling customer rates. As a result of higher
than expected electric and gas sales due to weather, we have
increased our consolidated 2013 annual earnings guidance," said
Patricia Kampling, Alliant Energy chairman, president and CEO.
The utility company announced a higher profit outlook for the
rest of this year as well as 2014, predicting earnings to grow
to $3.25 to $3.55 a share next year, from its outlook of $3.10
to $3.30 per share.
The more optimistic forecast is based on weather-related
increases in natural gas and electricity seen this year, and
next year’s is based on a forecast of stable economy and
continued investment in utility power plants, according to the
Alliant intends to boost its shareholder dividend in 2014 to
$2.04 per share, an increase of 17 cents, or 8.5 percent from
this year’s dividend.