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Newly renamed utility company Spire reports income boost in fiscal Q2

Spire Inc.reported fiscal second-quarter net economic earnings of $103.5 million, or$2.37 per share, compared to $97.6 million, or $2.25 per share, during theprior-year period.

The S&P Capital IQ normalized EPS consensus estimate forthe fiscal second-quarter was $2.28.

Net economic earnings excluded the effect of unrealizedgains and losses on energy-related derivatives and the impacts of theintegration ofMissouri Gas Energyand Alabama Gas Corp.,according to the May 4 earnings release. On a GAAP basis,consolidated net income for the quarter totaled $100.8 million, or $2.31 pershare, compared to $94.4 million, or $2.18 per share, during the correspondingperiod in 2015.

"We delivered another solid performance in the secondquarter with net economic earnings increasing to $2.37 per share on higher gasutility earnings," Spire President and CEO Suzanne Sitherwood said in therelease.

The company posted total operating revenues of $609.3million during the relatively warm quarter, compared to $877.4 million duringthe year-ago period. But operating expenses also fell steeply yearover year, from $719.7 million to $441.6 million.

Spire affirmed its fiscal 2016 net economic earnings pershare guidance of $3.34 to $3.44, representing annual growth of 5% to 8%.

Spire was known as the Laclede Group Inc. until shareholdersapproved thename change April 28.