Great Plains Energy Inc. on Thursday reported a third-quarter profit of $147.4 million, but the company said its results were hurt by “significantly” cooler-than-normal summer weather.
Because of temperatures that Great Plains said were 17 percent below normal, the utility also lowered its full-year earnings outlook to a range of $1.52 to $1.62 per share from previous estimates of $1.60 to $1.75 a share.
Terry Bassham, Great Plains’ chairman and CEO, said the utility worked hard to lower its operating and maintenance expenses to offset the impact of cooler temperatures, particularly in July. “During the third quarter, we continued to demonstrate solid operational performance,” Bassham said.
Great Plains, which is the parent company of Kansas City Power & Light Co., released its quarterly results after the close of regular trading hours on Wall Street. Its shares closed Thursday at $26.92, down 38 cents.
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The company said its third-quarter net earnings were $4.3 million higher than the same period in 2013. Great Plains generated operating revenue of $782.5 million for the three months that ended Sept. 30, up from $765 million a year earlier.
Through the first nine months, Great Plains earned $223.3 million, down from $232.7 million through three quarters last year.
Last week, Kansas City Power & Light filed for a 15.8 percent rate increase for about half of its Missouri customers, saying it needed to recover the cost of environmental upgrades at its coal-fired plant in La Cygne, Kan.
The utility said the $121 million-a-year rate request, if approved by the Missouri Public Service Commission, would amount to about a $14 monthly increase for the average residential customer.
If approved by regulators, the rate increase for La Cygne would probably go into effect in September 2015. State regulators can reduce or reject a rate request, but they have less flexibility to do so when it covers upgrades to meet environmental regulations.
KCP&L will also file a rate request in Kansas to help pay for the La Cygne upgrade. But that rate increase is expected to be less because those customers already have started paying their share.
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