As of March 31, 2013, Ecova had over 700 expense management customers representing over 700,000 billed sites in North America. In the first quarter of 2013, Ecova managed bills totaling $5.1 billion, an increase of $0.7 billion as compared to the first quarter of 2012. The increase in bills managed was due to an increase in the number of billed sites, partially offset by a decrease in the average value of each bill.
Other Businesses: The net loss from these operations was $1.1 million for the first quarter of 2013 compared to a net loss of $0.3 million for the first quarter of 2012. The losses for the first quarter of 2013 were primarily the result of an impairment loss of $0.5 million pre-tax ($0.3 million after-tax) associated with our investment in an energy storage company, increased costs of $0.4 million associated with exploring strategic opportunities, and litigation costs of $0.4 million related to the previous operations of Avista Energy. These losses were partially offset by METALfx, which had net income of $0.2 million for the first quarter of 2013.
Liquidity and Capital Resources: We have a $400 million committed line of credit with various financial institutions with an expiration date of February 2017. As of March 31, 2013, there were $52.5 million of cash borrowings and $12.6 million in letters of credit outstanding, leaving $334.9 million of available liquidity under this line of credit.
There are $50 million in First Mortgage Bonds maturing in December 2013, and we expect to issue up to $100 million of long-term debt during the second half of 2013.
As of March 31, 2013, we had 1.8 million shares of common stock available to be issued under sales agency agreements. In the first quarter of 2013, we issued $1.1 million (net of issuance costs) of common stock. The additional shares were issued under the dividend reinvestment and direct stock purchase plan, and employee plans. We are planning to issue up to $50 million of common stock in 2013 in order to maintain our capital structure at an appropriate level for our business, with the majority of the issuances in the second half of the year.
Utility capital expenditures were $70.6 million for the first quarter of 2013. We expect utility capital expenditures to be about $260 million for each of 2013, 2014, and 2015.
Ecova has a $125 million committed line of credit agreement with various financial institutions with an expiration date of July 2017. As of March 31, 2013, Ecova had $54 million of borrowings outstanding under its committed line of credit agreement. Based on certain covenant conditions contained in the credit agreement, at March 31, 2013, Ecova could borrow an additional $11.6 million and still be compliant with its covenants.
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 continue to expect Avista Utilities to contribute in the range of $1.64 to $1.78 per diluted share for 2013. We expect our 2013 utility earnings to be positively impacted by general rate increases. However, 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 for the remainder of 2013. We estimate that our 2013 utility earnings guidance range encompasses a return on equity range of approximately 8.25 percent to 9 percent.
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