Ameren Rides Heat Wave To Earnings Gain

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ST LOUIS — Ameren Corp. reported a net income of 87 cents per share for the second quarter of 2012, up nearly 53 percent from last year’s second-quarter income of 57 cents per share. The St. Louis-based utilities company saw revenues of $1.66 billion, down almost $121 million from the same period last year.

Ameren’s profits were buoyed during the quarter partly by this summer’s grueling heat wave, which helped Ameren rebound for the year after a mild winter drove down the need for heating. The jump in earnings also reflected a federal regulatory decision in Ameren’s favor following an unspecified energy agreement dispute.

With the higher-than-expected earnings, Ameren is revising its forecasts for the year to $2.25-$2.55 per share, up from its original projection of $2.20-$2.50 per share. For fiscal year 2011 Ameren posted earnings of $2.56 per share, according to Bloomberg.

A report from Zacks Investment Research notes that Ameren’s future business outlook is strong given its investment in transmission infrastructure such as power lines, propensity for cutting costs and better-than-average employment figures for Ameren’s transmission area.

The report also points out that Ameren’s dependence on coal  for electricity generation could be a liability to the company’s profits. Ameren might have to pay an estimated $8.3 billion by 2016 to comply with federal and state clean air standards, according to Zacks.

At midday Ameren’s stock was trading at $33.72 per share, down less than one percent from yesterday’s close, and down 2.8 percent from last week’s high of $34.70.

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