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Otter Tail records improved Q1 earnings

Otter TailCorp. on May 2 posted $14.5 million, or 38 cents per share, in thefirst quarter net income from continuing operations, representing an increasefrom $13.8 million, or 37 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2015.

The company's electric segment recorded $12.5 million in netincome during the most recent quarter, compared with $13.2 million in the samequarter of 2015.

Meanwhile, the manufacturing business contributed $1.9 millionand the plastics business contributed $2.2 million towards Otter Tail'sfirst-quarter net income. They had contributed $1.2 million and $2.1 millionduring the same period of 2015, respectively.

First-quarter operating revenues increased to $206.2 millionfrom $202.8 million in the corresponding quarter of 2015, results showed. Thecompany's net income from discontinued operations was $30,000 compared $4.2million in the first quarter of 2015.

"We anticipate our $858 million in utility capital expendituresfrom 2016 through 2020, which includes these two important transmissionprojects and several generation investments, to result in a projectedcompounded annual growth rate of 8.0% in utility rate base," President andCEO Chuck MacFarlane said.

The company also cited an ongoing request to permanentlyincrease rates in Minnesota by approximately $19.3 million, or 9.8%. The MPUCgranted a 9.56% rate increase on an interim basis on April 16 and a finaldetermination is expected in 2017.

Otter Tail reaffirmedits 2016 EPS guidance range of $1.50 to $1.65.