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NW Natural boosts Q1 earnings as it adds utility customers

d/b/a NW Naturalon May 3 reported first-quarter adjusted consolidated income of $38.6 million, or$1.40 per share, compared to $37.6 million, or $1.37 per share, in the year-agoquarter.

The S&PCapital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for the first quarter was $1.25, withfour analysts reporting.

The consolidatednet income figures excluded a regulatory disallowance for past environmental costsof $3.3 million pretax, or 7 cents per share after tax, in 2016, and $15.0 millionpretax, or 33 cents per share after tax, in 2015.

Utility marginfor the first quarter amounted to $136.7 million, compared to $130.6 million inthe prior-year quarter. The increase was attributed to the addition of more than10,000 utility customers in the past 12 months, representing an annual customergrowth rate of 1.5% at March 31.

First-quartergas storage operating revenues were $5.4 million, compared to $5.3 million in thesame period of 2015.

The company'searnings guidance was reaffirmed at $1.98 to $2.18 per share, or $2.05 to $2.25per share adjusted to exclude the effects of the pretax environmental charges.