'sfirst-quarter 2016 adjusted net income totaled $63.8 million, or $1.23 pershare, up from $48.3 million, or $1.08 per share, in the prior-year quarter andtopping the S&P Capital IQ normalized EPS consensus estimate of $1.02.
"Wedelivered strong financial results in the first quarter, highlighted by a 14percent increase in adjusted earnings per share over the comparable prior-yearperiod. Results were favorably impacted by the addition of the  utilities andcorporate tax benefits, partially offset by increased share count, higherinterest expense and lower sales due to warmer weather," Black HillsChairman and CEO David Emery said in a May 3 earnings release.
On a GAAPbasis, Black Hills posted net income of $40.0 million, or 77 cents per share,compared with net income of $33.9 million, or 76 cents per share, in the firstquarter of 2015.
The oil and gas segment reported net loss of $7.0 million in the 2016first quarter, compared with a loss of $19.1 million in the prior-year period.First-quarter operating loss narrowed to $19.3 million from a loss of $29.2 million in the firstquarter of 2015.
Net income in the electric utilities segment rose to $19.2 million from $17.6 million in theprior-year period, while operating income was largely flat at $40.6 million in the firstquarter.
The gas utilities' segment net income increased $8.4 million year overyear to $32.0 millionwhile operating income rose $22.1 million year over year to $63.9 million in the first quarter of 2016. Segmentresults include the natural gas operations of Cheyenne Light, which was previously includedin the electric utilities segment of the company.
Black Hillscontinues to target 2016 adjusted EPS of $2.90 to $3.10 and 2017 EPS of $3.35to $3.65.
The companyalso announced that Black HillsColorado Electric Utility Co. LP on May 3 filed a request with theColorado Public Utilities Commission for an annual net revenue increase of $8.9million to recover costs incurred from the construction of the 40-MW, naturalgas-fired Pueblo AirportGenerating Station.