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El Paso Electric sees Q1 net loss on regulatory lag

El PasoElectric Co. has placed the third generating unit at the intocommercial operation at a cost of approximately $82.4 million.

The company made the announcement in its May 4 earningsrelease, booking a loss of $5.8 million, or 14 cents per share, as regulatorylag impacted earnings. The S&P Capital IQ normalized consensus EPS estimatewas a loss of 7 cents.

The company had reported $3.5 million, or 9 cents per share,in net income during the first quarter of 2015.

"These results clearly illustrate the importance ofobtaining final orders in our on-going rate cases so that we can recover thesignificant investments we have made to meet our customers' energy needs. Thatsaid, we see these results as growing pains," El Paso Electric CEO MaryKipp said in a May 4 statement.

The company is seeking to recover investments in MontanaPower Station units 1 and units 2 and the Eastside Operations Center, whichwere placed in service during March 2015. El Paso Electric warned thatregulatory lag will continue to have a negative impact on its books now thatMontana Power Station unit 3 has been placed into service and unit 4 is ontrack for completion in September.

The company has two ratecases pending, one with New Mexico and another with Texas regulators.

El Paso Electric's first-quarter 2016 operating revenues weredown nearly $1 million year over year to $113.8 million, net of energy expenses.