Avista Warns of Lower Second Quarter Earnings
Avista Corp. has warned preliminary estimates indicate second
quarter earnings per share will fall below securities analysts'
current consensus second quarter estimate of $0.33 per share due to
losses in April and May within Avista Energy, its national energy
marketing and trading. First quarter earnings in 1998 were $0.27
per common share. The prospects for a disappointing second quarter
follow on first quarter earnings of $0.34 per diluted share, well
below the $0.56 per share in first quarter 1998.
Avista Energy results throughout the first half of 1999 have
been affected by weak national energy prices, unfavorable weather
issues in the Northwest and the lack of volatility within virtually
all commodities, according to Chairman T. M. Matthews. However,
Matthews said he expects positive results from Avista Energy in
June and for the remainder of 1999, based on full integration of
Vitol Gas & Electric, its strong management team, and key staff
additions, which have substantially strengthened the Avista Energy
team (See Daily GPI, May 26). He stressed the addition of
intellectual capital is a significant step.
Despite this expected turnaround, Matthews said overall Avista
Energy results for the year could be a negative 10 cents per share
because of the February through May losses. "We believe the steps
we have taken to improve and expand our national strategy are sound
and, not withstanding the near term costs we are experiencing to
implement it, our confidence in those actions will be born out
throughout the remainder of the year and in the future," Matthews
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