2013 Earnings Guidance and Outlook
Avista is confirming its 2013 guidance for consolidated earnings to be in the range of $1.70 to $1.90 per diluted share.
We have made a slight revision to our guidance for Avista Utilities. We now expect a contribution in the range of $1.64 to $1.78 per diluted share for 2013, a slight increase from our previous guidance of $1.62 to $1.76 per diluted share. We expect our 2013 utility earnings to be positively impacted by general rate increases. We expect our 2013 utility earnings to continue to be limited by slow load growth due to the economy, as well as a 3 percent to 4 percent increase in operating costs (excluding 2012 costs under the voluntary severance incentive plan). Our range for Avista Utilities encompasses expected variability in power supply costs and the application of the ERM to that power supply cost variability. The midpoint of our utility guidance range does not include any benefit or expense under the ERM. Our outlook for Avista Utilities assumes, among other variables, normal precipitation, temperatures and hydroelectric generation, as well as implementation of the Idaho general rate case settlement on April 1, 2013, and Oct. 1, 2013, subject to approval of the Idaho commission. We estimate that our 2013 utility earnings guidance range encompasses a return on equity range of approximately 8.25 percent to 9 percent.
For 2013, we expect Ecova to contribute in the range of $0.10 to $0.14 per diluted share. We expect operating revenues to be in the range of $170 million to $190 million with approximately 50 percent derived from expense and data management services, 45 percent from energy management services, and 5 percent from new products. We expect approximately one-third of earnings to occur during the first half of 2013 and two-thirds to occur during the second half of the year.
We expect the other businesses to be between a loss of $0.02 and $0.04 per diluted share for 2013. This is a reduction from our previous range of break-even and a loss of $0.02 per diluted share due to the costs of exploring opportunities to develop new markets and ways for customers to use electricity and natural gas for commercial productivity and transportation.
NOTE: We will host a conference call with financial analysts and investors on Feb. 20, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. ET to discuss this news release. The call will be available at (800) 446-2782, pass code: 34130094. A simultaneous webcast of the call will be available on our website, www.avistacorp.com. A replay of the conference call will be available through Feb. 27, 2013. Call (888) 843-7419, pass code 34130094#, to listen to the replay.
Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is our operating division that provides electric service to 362,000 customers and natural gas to 323,000 customers. Our service territory covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.5 million. Avista's primary, non-utility subsidiary is Ecova, an energy and sustainability management company with over 700 expense management customers, representing almost 700,000 sites. Our stock is traded under the ticker symbol "AVA". For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.com.
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