Hawaiian Electric profit jumps 152%
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Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. blew past analysts' estimates with its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings.
The Honolulu-based power company and parent of American Savings Bank said yesterday that interim rate increases granted for the company's three utilities boosted revenue by $32 million for the year compared with 2006.
For the quarter, HEI posted net income of $40.6 million, or 49 cents a share, compared with $16.1 million, or 20 cents a share, a year earlier.
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Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. said yesterday that interim rate increases helped it more than double its earnings in the fourth quarter.
The power company owner and parent of American Savings Bank blew by analysts' estimates for the quarter and for the full year, although annual earnings were dragged down by its utility segment.
For the three months ending Dec. 31, HEI posted net income of $40.6 million, or 49 cents a share, compared with $16.1 million, or 20 cents a share, a year earlier.
Three analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial forecast an average of 32 cents a share for the quarter. Revenue rose 17 percent to $708.2 million from $607.1 million a year earlier.
Interim rate increases granted for the company's three utilities -- Hawaiian Electric Co., Hawaii Electric Light Co. and Maui Electric Co. -- boosted revenue by $32 million for the year compared with 2006. Much of that benefit came in the fourth quarter, HEI President and Chief Executive Constance Lau said in a statement.
"Interim rate relief in 2007 partially offset two charges related to rate-case filings and higher year-over-year other operation, maintenance and depreciation expenses," she said.
For the full year, HEI posted earnings of $84.8 million, or $1.03 a share, down 22 percent from $108 million, or $1.33 a share, in 2006, after charges related to a $16 million refund to Oahu customers as well as a write-off of $12 million of Keahole power plant expansion costs. Revenue ticked up to $2.54 billion from $2.46 billion a year earlier. Other operation and maintenance expense for the utility increased by $43.1 million in the year due to higher production maintenance expenses and employee benefits costs. Two analysts forecast average earnings of 94 cents a share for the year.
Profit for utility Hawaiian Electric increased to $28.2 million for the quarter compared with $13 million a year earlier. For the year, net income narrowed to $52.2 million from $74.9 million in 2006. Revenue for the quarter jumped to $598.3 million from $506 million a year earlier; annual revenue rose to $2.1 billion from $2.05 billion a year earlier.
Kilowatt-hour sales decreased 1.4 percent for the quarter and remained flat for the year.
Quarterly net income for HEI's banking segment jumped to $17.2 million from $9.3 million a year earlier, while 2007 earnings dropped to $53.1 million from $55.8 million. Revenue for the quarter jumped to $108 million from $102.5 million a year earlier; for the year, revenue rose to $425.5 million from $408.4 million a year earlier.
The bank provided $5.7 million for loan losses in 2007, compared with $1.4 million a year earlier. In the quarter, the bank recorded a $1.8 million provision for loan losses, compared with $1.4 million a year earlier.
"We expect to see an increase in loan-loss provisions, especially as the economy begins to slow," Lau said.
Hawaiian Electric also said yesterday it will maintain its quarterly dividend of 31 cents a share, payable March 11 to stockholders of record on March 3. The dividend is equivalent to an annual rate of $1.24 per share.