NorthWestern reports Q1’12 earnings results

NorthWestern Corporation d/b/a NorthWestern Energy (NYSE: NWE) reported financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2012.

Net income was $32.0 million, or $.88 per fully diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2012, compared with net income of $32.6 million, or $.89 per fully diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2011.

Gross margin declined $5.5 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2012, compared with the first quarter of 2011, due primarily to mild winter weather that caused an approximately $8.2 million reduction in gross margin but this was largely offset by increased Dave Gates Generating Station related revenues of $4.5 million, including approximately $2.7 million that had been deferred in prior periods pending outcome of allocation uncertainty in Montana. This was based on a March 2012 decision by the Montana Public Service Commission approving total project costs and establishing final rates for DGGS.

In addition, operating expenses and interest expense were lower than the same period in 2011.

“Despite the significantly milder heating season, we provided stable earnings in the first quarter of 2012,” said Bob Rowe, President and CEO. “In addition, we made progress in advancing electric supply investments by beginning construction on both the Spion Kop 40 MW wind project in Montana and the 60 MW natural gas peaking facility near Aberdeen, SD .”

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