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Avista reports lower Q4, FY'17 results, citing tax law impacts

Avista Corp. on Feb. 21 reported fourth-quarter 2017 net income attributable to shareholders of $27.6 million, or 42 cents per diluted share, compared to $40.1 million, or 62 cents per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The result missed the S&P Capital IQ consensus estimate for normalized EPS of 52 cents. The company attributed a reduction of approximately 16 cents per diluted share to the impact of the tax law change on deferred income tax balances related to subsidiaries and non-utility operations in 2017.

Avista Utilities contributed net income of $29.1 million, or 44 cents per share, to fourth-quarter 2017 results, compared to net income of $38.1 million, or 59 cents per share, in the comparable quarter of 2016. Alaska Electric Light and Power Co.'s contribution remained relatively flat year over year at $3.1 million, or 5 cents per share, in fourth-quarter 2017.

Avista's fourth-quarter 2017 operating revenues dropped to $397.9 million from $402.1 million in the corresponding period of 2016.

"Our performance during 2017 was strong. Our earnings benefited from lower resource costs, primarily from higher than normal hydroelectric generation and lower natural gas prices," said Avista Chairman and CEO Scott Morris. "These increases in earnings were offset by the impact of federal income tax law changes and costs associated with the proposed acquisition by Hydro One Ltd."

Avista posted full-year 2017 net income of $115.9 million, or $1.79 per share, compared to $137.2 million, or $2.15 per share, in 2016. The full-year 2017 S&P Capital IQ consensus estimate for normalized EPS was $1.95.

The company's full-year 2017 operating revenues rose to $1.45 billion from $1.44 billion in 2016.