Alliant Energy Provides Financial Guidance

Including Earnings and Capital Expenditure Guidance and Approved Increase in the Expected Annual Common Stock Dividend

Dec 21, 2010, 06:00 ET from Alliant Energy Corporation

MADISON, Wis., Dec. 21, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alliant Energy Corporation (NYSE: LNT) is announcing several important updates regarding overall company performance.

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Financial Guidance

Alliant Energy is announcing on-going guidance for 2011 earnings from continuing operations of $2.70 - $3.00 per share.  For 2010, Alliant Energy affirms the earnings from continuing operations guidance range it issued on October 29, 2010 provided in the table below.  Additional details of the 2010 and 2011 earnings guidance are as follows:

2010 Guidance

2011 Guidance

Utility

$2.55 - $2.65

$2.60 – $2.80

Non-regulated and Parent

0.10 – 0.15

0.10 – 0.20

Alliant Energy  

$2.65 - $2.80

$2.70 – $3.00

"In 2011, we expect to continue to see the earnings benefit of our rate base growth initiatives, while at the same time we anticipate the cost management plan in Iowa will allow for a decrease in customer bills," said Bill Harvey, Alliant Energy's Chairman, President and CEO.  "We plan to narrow the earnings guidance range for calendar year 2011 in conjunction with the release of 2010 earnings in February 2011, after we have received and reviewed the written order from the IUB."

The 2010 earnings guidance in the above table excludes the following previously reported items:

Non-GAAP Income (Loss) Adjustments

(in millions)

(EPS)

Q1 Charges related to U.S. federal health care legislation

($7.1)

($0.06)

Q2 Restructuring and impairment charges

(4.6)

(0.04)

Q2 Reserve for Cash Balance Pension Plan lawsuit

(1.7)

(0.02)

Q2 Depreciation adjustment

5.0

0.05

Q3 Tax benefits related to completion of federal income tax audits

6.5

0.06

($1.9)

($0.01)

The 2010 guidance also excludes any regulatory-related charges or credits resulting from the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) oral decision on Interstate Power and Light Company's (IPL) electric rate case announced on December 15, 2010.  A written order from the IUB is expected by January 10, 2011.  Alliant Energy currently estimates the IUB's decision will result in a net pre-tax charge between $25 and $30 million.  The estimated net pre-tax charge relates to impairments of IPL's Whispering Willow-East wind project and Sixth Street Generating Station assets and a rate refund reserve, partially offset by a regulatory credit related to recovery of certain costs associated with the severe flooding in Cedar Rapids in 2008. This is a preliminary estimate subject to change upon receipt of the written order.  Alliant Energy plans to report its 2010 financial results in early February 2011.

The 2010 and 2011 earnings guidance does not include the impacts of any non-cash valuation adjustments, regulatory-related charges or credits, reorganization or restructuring charges, changes in laws or regulations, adjustments made to deferred tax asset valuation allowances, adverse impacts of pending lawsuits and disputes, depreciation adjustments, impacts from completing federal and state income tax audits or changes in accounting principles that may impact the reported results of Alliant Energy.  

Drivers for Alliant Energy's 2010 and 2011 earnings guidance include, but are not limited to:

  • Stable economy and resulting implications on utility sales
  • Normal weather and operating conditions in its utility service territories
  • Ability of IPL and Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WPL) to recover their operating costs, deferred expenditures and capital expenditures, and to earn a reasonable rate of return
  • Accurate interpretation of the IUB decision for IPL's retail electric rate case and related tax implications
  • Continuing cost controls and operational efficiencies
  • Execution of IPL's and WPL's capital expenditure plans
  • Ability of IPL and WPL to recover future purchased power, fuel and fuel-related costs through rates in a timely manner
  • No refund reserves related to IPL's interim rates in Minnesota

2011 Projected Capital Expenditures

Alliant Energy's anticipated capital expenditures for 2011 are as follows (in millions):

Utility business:(a) (b)

 Generation

$165

 Environmental

100

 Other utility capital expenditures

425

      Total utility business

690

Non-regulated businesses

10

Alliant Energy

$700

  1. Cost estimates represent IPL's or WPL's estimated portion of total escalated construction and acquisition expenditures in millions of dollars and exclude AFUDC, if applicable.
  2. The above anticipated capital expenditure plan is subject to change if IPL accepts the IUB's stipulation to impose a three-year rate freeze, which is a condition to the electric transmission service cost rider.  

Common Stock Dividend

Alliant Energy is also announcing that its Board of Directors approved an increase in its 2011 expected annual common stock dividend target to $1.70 per share from the current annual dividend target of $1.58 per share.  Payment of the 2011 quarterly dividends is subject to the actual dividend declaration by the Board of Directors, which is expected in January 2011 for the first quarter dividend. The expected dividend target places the dividend within Alliant Energy's targeted dividend payout ratio range of 60 to 70 percent of the earnings of its utility subsidiaries based on the mid point of the guidance for 2011 utility earnings per share of $2.70.

Conference Call

A conference call to review the financial guidance is scheduled for Tuesday, December 21st at 9:00 a.m. central time.  Alliant Energy Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer William D. Harvey and Executive Vice President-Chief Financial Officer Patricia Kampling will host the call. The conference call is open to the public and can be accessed in two ways.  Interested parties may listen to the call by dialing 888-221-9591 (United States or Canada) or 913-312-1434 (International), passcode 8244179.  Interested parties may also listen to a webcast at www.alliantenergy.com/investors.  In conjunction with the information in this financial guidance call, Alliant Energy posted on its Web site supplemental information including a comparison of its forecasted 2010 and 2011 earnings from continuing operations.  A replay of the call will be available through December 28, 2010, at 888-203-1112 (United States or Canada) or 719-457-0820 (International), passcode 8244179.  An archive of the webcast will be available on the Company's Web site at www.alliantenergy.com/investors for 12 months.

Alliant Energy is the parent company of two public utility companies – Interstate Power and Light Company (IP&L) and Wisconsin Power and Light Company (WP&L) – and of Alliant Energy Resources, LLC, the parent company of Alliant Energy's non-regulated operations.  Alliant Energy is an energy-services provider with subsidiaries serving approximately 1 million electric and approximately 412,000 natural gas customers.  Providing its customers in the Midwest with regulated electricity and natural gas service is the Company's primary focus.  Alliant Energy, headquartered in Madison, Wis., is a Fortune 1000 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LNT. For more information, visit the Company's Web site at www.alliantenergy.com.

This press release includes forward-looking statements.  These forward-looking statements can be identified as such because the statements include words such as "expect," "projected," or other words of similar import.  Similarly, statements that describe future financial performance, dividend payments, or plans or strategies are forward-looking statements.  Such statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those currently anticipated.  Actual results could be affected by the following factors, among others:

  • federal and state regulatory or governmental actions, including the impact of energy, tax, financial and health care legislation, and of regulatory agency orders;
  • IPL's and WPL's ability to obtain adequate and timely rate relief to allow for, among other things, the recovery of operating costs, fuel costs, deferred expenditures, capital expenditures, costs related to the remaining 100 megawatts of Vestas wind turbine generator sets and related equipment and costs related to generating units that may be permanently closed, the earning of reasonable rates of return, and the payments to their parent of expected levels of dividends;
  • IPL's potential rate refunds to customers resulting from final rates set by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission that are less than the interim rate increases IPL is currently collecting from its Minnesota electric retail customers;
  • the state of the economy in IPL's and WPL's service territories and resulting implications on sales, margins and ability to collect unpaid bills;
  • weather effects on results of operations;
  • Alliant Energy's ability to sustain its dividend payout ratio goal;
  • developments that adversely impact the ability to implement strategic plans including unanticipated issues in connection with construction and operation or regulatory approval of IPL's and WPL's new wind generating facilities and WPL's Columbia emission control equipment, WPL's potential purchases of the Riverside Energy Center and Wisconsin Electric Power Company's 25% interest in the Edgewater Generating Station Unit 5, and Alliant Energy's ability to complete the proposed divestiture of its Industrial Energy Applications, Inc. business;
  • successful resolution of the pending challenge to the approval by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin of WPL's Bent Tree-Phase I wind project;
  • issues related to the availability of generating facilities and the supply and delivery of fuel and purchased electricity and price thereof, including the ability to recover and to retain the recovery of purchased power, fuel and fuel-related costs through rates in a timely manner;
  • the impact that fuel and fuel-related prices may have on IPL's and WPL's customers' demand for utility services;
  • impacts that storms or natural disasters in IPL's and WPL's service territories may have on their operations and recovery of and rate relief for costs associated with restoration activities;
  • issues associated with environmental remediation efforts and with environmental compliance generally, including changing environmental laws and regulations,
  • potential impacts of changing regulations on the ability to utilize already-purchased emission allowances and forward contracts to purchase additional emission allowances;
  • the ability to defend against environmental claims brought by state and federal agencies, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or third parties, such as the Sierra Club;
  • the ability to recover through rates all environmental compliance costs, including costs for projects put on hold due to uncertainty of future environmental laws and regulations;
  • the ability to continue cost controls and operational efficiencies;
  • potential impacts of any future laws or regulations regarding global climate change or carbon emissions reductions, including those that contain a proposed greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program;
  • continued access to the capital markets on competitive terms and rates;
  • inflation and interest rates;
  • financial impacts of risk hedging strategies, including the impact of weather hedges or the absence of weather hedges on earnings;
  • sales and project execution for RMT, Inc., the level of growth in the wind and solar development market and the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010, and future legislation;
  • issues related to electric transmission, including operating in Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) energy and ancillary services markets, the impacts of potential future billing adjustments and cost allocation changes from RTOs and recovery of costs incurred;
  • unplanned outages, transmission constraints or operational issues impacting fossil or renewable generating facilities and risks related to recovery of resulting incremental costs through rates;
  • Alliant Energy's ability to successfully pursue appropriate appeals with respect to, and any liabilities arising out of, the alleged violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 by Alliant Energy's Cash Balance Pension Plan;
  • current or future litigation, regulatory investigations, proceedings or inquiries;
  • employee workforce factors, including changes in key executives, collective bargaining agreements and negotiations, work stoppages or additional restructurings;
  • access to technological developments;
  • increased retirement and benefit plan costs;
  • the impact of necessary accruals for the terms of incentive compensation plans;
  • the effect of accounting pronouncements issued periodically by standard-setting bodies;
  • the ability to utilize tax capital losses, tax credits and net operating losses generated to date, and those that may be generated in the future, before they expire;
  • the ability to successfully complete ongoing tax audits and appeals with no material impact on earnings and cash flows;
  • the direct or indirect effects resulting from terrorist incidents or responses to such incidents; and
  • factors listed in the "Financial Guidance" section of this press release.

Without limitation, the expectations with respect to 2010 and 2011 earnings guidance, 2011 projected capital expenditures and the dividend payment target for 2011 in this press release are forward-looking statements and are based in part on certain assumptions made by Alliant Energy, some of which are referred to in the forward-looking statements.  Alliant Energy cannot provide any assurance that the assumptions referred to in the forward-looking statements or otherwise are accurate or will prove to be correct.  Any assumptions that are inaccurate or do not prove to be correct could have a material adverse effect on Alliant Energy's ability to achieve the estimates or other targets included in the forward-looking statements.  The forward-looking statements included herein are made as of the date hereof and Alliant Energy undertakes no obligation to update publicly such statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

Note: Unless otherwise noted, all "per share" references in this release refer to earnings per diluted share.

SOURCE Alliant Energy Corporation



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