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Avista Predicts 1Q Earnings Downturn

Avista Predicts 1Q Earnings Downturn

Avista Corp. of Spokane, WA, its first-quarter earnings per share could fall as much as 15 cents per share below securities analysts' current consensus first quarter estimate of 49 cents per share. However, CEO T.M. Matthews said the company is still comfortable with analyst expectations of earnings for the year of between $1.55-$1.65 per share

Matthews said Avista Energy, the company's national energy trading and marketing affiliate, suffered reductions in the value of future positions. Weak energy markets nationwide and lower volatility within those markets resulted in the lack of opportunities to arbitrage trading positions in the first quarter. Matthews noted Avista Energy results reflect mark-to-market accounting, which requires the company to value its entire portfolio based on current prices at month end. Because Avista Energy marks its portfolio to fair market value on a daily basis, earnings variability results.

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