Wisconsin Energy’s Q4 profit down, but annual earnings rise 12.9%

Wisconsin Energy Corp. has reported net income of $114.1 million or 49 cents a share for the fourth quarter of 2011, down from the net income of $125.6 million, or 53 cents a share, for the fourth quarter of 2010.

That did not prevent the energy company from reporting strong annual net income of $512.8 million, or $2.18 a share, up 12.9% from the $454.4 million or $1.92 a share reported in 2010.

Wisconsin Energy partially attributed the 2011 performance to investment in a second new generating unit at the company's Oak Creek site, which commercial service in January 2011.

Revenues

Fourth quarter 2011 revenues were $1.11 billion, slightly higher than the $1.09 billion in the same quarter a year ago. For the full year 2011, revenues rose to $4.49 billion, up from $4.20 billion in 2010.

Gale Klappa, chairman, president, and chief executive of Wisconsin Energy, said the company had expected a sales decline due to regional plant closings, but electricity consumption by large commercial and industrial customers rose by 0.3%. As the year progressed, the company saw strength in the iron ore mining, specialty steel, industrial machinery, and printing and publishing sectors.

Wisconsin Energy, whose principal utility is We Energies, also grew its customer base, serving 2,267 more electric customers and 3,748 more natural gas customers by year’s end.

That was offset by a 0.3% reduction in energy use by small commercial and industrial customers, and mild summer weather that dropped residential electricity use by 1.8%.