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Westar Energy announces 3rd quarter 2017 results

TOPEKA, Kan., Oct. 31, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WR) today announced earnings of $158 million, or $1.11 per share, for the third quarter 2017 compared with earnings of $155 million, or $1.09 per share, for the third quarter 2016. Earnings for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2017 were $290 million, or $2.03 per share, compared with $293 million, or $2.06 per share, for the same period in 2016.

Higher earnings per share for the third quarter were driven by lower income tax expense. Partially offsetting the lower income tax expense were lower residential and commercial sales due primarily to mild weather, a decrease in corporate-owned life insurance income, and an increase in depreciation related to Western Plains Wind Farm.

Lower earnings per share for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2017 were driven by the effect of mild weather resulting in lower residential and commercial sales. Also contributing to lower earnings was a decrease in corporate-owned life insurance income and increased depreciation due to Western Plains Wind Farm. Partially offsetting lower sales was lower income tax expense.

Conference Call and Additional Company Information

Westar Energy management will host a conference call Wednesday, Nov. 1 with the investment community at 10:00 a.m. ET (9:00 a.m. CT). Investors, media and the public may listen to the conference call by dialing (844) 646-4526, conference ID 96033428. A webcast of the live conference call will be available at www.WestarEnergy.com.

Members of the media are invited to listen to the conference call and then contact Gina Penzig with any follow-up questions.

This earnings announcement, a package of detailed third-quarter financial information, the company’s quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended Sept. 30, 2017 and other filings the company has made with the Securities and Exchange Commission are available on the company’s website at www.WestarEnergy.com.

As Kansas’ largest electric utility, Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WR) provides customers the safe, reliable electricity needed to power their businesses and homes. We have 7,800 MW of electric generation capacity that includes renewables and traditional power sources with half the electricity supplied to our more than 700,000 customers from emissions free sources: nuclear, wind and solar, with a third coming from renewables. We are a leader in electric transmission in Kansas coordinating a network of lines and substations that supports one of the largest consolidations of wind energy in the nation. Our employees live, volunteer and work in the communities we serve.

For more information about Westar Energy, visit us on the Internet at http://www.WestarEnergy.com.

Forward-looking statements: Certain matters discussed in this news release are “forward-looking statements.” The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 has established that these statements qualify for safe harbors from liability. Forward-looking statements may include words like “believe,” “anticipate,” “target,” “expect,” “pro forma,” “estimate,” “intend,” “guidance” or words of similar meaning. Forward-looking statements describe future plans, objectives, expectations or goals. Although Westar Energy believes that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, all forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements include those discussed herein as well as (1) those discussed in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2016 (a) under the heading, “Forward-Looking Statements,” (b) in ITEM 1. Business, (c) in ITEM 1A. Risk Factors, (d) in ITEM 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, and (e) in ITEM 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data: Notes 3, 14 and 16; (2) those discussed in the company’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed on May 9, 2017, Aug. 8, 2017 and Oct. 31, 2017, (a) under the heading “Forward-Looking Statements.” (b) in ITEM 2. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, (c) in Part I, Financial Information, ITEM 1. Financial Statements: Notes 3, 11, 12 (in the Form 10-Q filed on May 9, 2017), and 13 (in the Form 10-Q filed on Aug. 8, 2017 and Oct. 31, 2017), and (d) ITEM 1A. Risk Factors; and (3) other factors discussed in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date such statement was made, and the company does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement was made.

Media Contact:
Gina Penzig
Media Relations Manager
Phone: 785-575-8089
Gina.Penzig@westarenergy.com
Media line: 888-613-0003

Investor Contact:
Cody VandeVelde
Director, Investor Relations
Phone: 785-575-8227
Cody.VandeVelde@westarenergy.com

Westar Energy, Inc.
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income
(Unaudited)
Three Months Ended September 30, Nine Months Ended September 30,
2017 2016 Change % Change 2017 2016 Change % Change
(Dollars In Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts)
REVENUES:
Residential$278,138 $282,272 $(4,134) (1.5) $642,449 $664,400 $(21,951) (3.3)
Commercial219,414 218,377 1,037 0.5 557,232 572,247 (15,015) (2.6)
Industrial117,721 106,021 11,700 11.0 324,227 314,723 9,504 3.0
Other retail149 7,883 (7,734) (98.1) (22,293) (23,002) 709 3.1
Total Retail Revenues615,422 614,553 869 0.1 1,501,615 1,528,368 (26,753) (1.8)
Wholesale102,113 86,421 15,692 18.2 242,524 220,520 22,004 10.0
Transmission69,504 58,462 11,042 18.9 209,097 188,996 20,101 10.6
Other7,288 5,218 2,070 39.7 22,986 17,668 5,318 30.1
Total Revenues794,327 764,654 29,673 3.9 1,976,222 1,955,552 20,670 1.1
OPERATING EXPENSES:
Fuel and purchased power189,804 155,673 34,131 21.9 415,449 374,361 41,088 11.0
SPP network transmission costs62,578 57,939 4,639 8.0 185,015 173,925 11,090 6.4
Operating and maintenance79,856 86,758 (6,902) (8.0) 248,211 250,135 (1,924) (0.8)
Depreciation and amortization94,668 84,972 9,696 11.4 277,322 252,838 24,484 9.7
Selling, general and administrative65,630 60,582 5,048 8.3 182,367 192,762 (10,395) (5.4)
Taxes other than income tax41,815 48,154 (6,339) (13.2) 126,421 145,529 (19,108) (13.1)
Total Operating Expenses534,351 494,078 40,273 8.2 1,434,785 1,389,550 45,235 3.3
INCOME FROM OPERATIONS259,976 270,576 (10,600) (3.9) 541,437 566,002 (24,565) (4.3)
OTHER INCOME (EXPENSE):
Investment earnings2,593 2,619 (26) (1.0) 8,384 6,916 1,468 21.2
Other income3,849 13,353 (9,504) (71.2) 5,672 26,212 (20,540) (78.4)
Other expense(6,493) (5,887) (606) (10.3) (14,457) (14,338) (119) (0.8)
Total Other (Expense) Income(51) 10,085 (10,136) (100.5) (401) 18,790 (19,191) (102.1)
Interest expense43,458 40,897 2,561 6.3 128,232 121,011 7,221 6.0
INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES216,467 239,764 (23,297) (9.7) 412,804 463,781 (50,977) (11.0)
Income tax expense55,743 81,211 (25,468) (31.4) 112,559 160,376 (47,817) (29.8)
NET INCOME160,724 158,553 2,171 1.4 300,245 303,405 (3,160) (1.0)
Less: Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests2,418 3,833 (1,415) (36.9) 10,213 10,760 (547) (5.1)
NET INCOME ATTRIBUTABLE TO WESTAR ENERGY, INC.$158,306 $154,720 $3,586 2.3 $290,032 $292,645 $(2,613) (0.9)
BASIC AND DILUTED EARNINGS PER AVERAGE COMMON SHARE OUTSTANDING ATTRIBUTABLE TO WESTAR ENERGY, INC. (See 10-Q Note 2):
Basic earnings per common share$1.11 $1.09 $0.02 1.8 $2.03 $2.06 $(0.03) (1.5)
Diluted earnings per common share$1.11 $1.08 $0.03 2.8 $2.03 $2.05 $(0.02) (1.0)
AVERAGE EQUIVALENT COMMON SHARES OUTSTANDING (in thousands):
Basic142,473 142,091 382 0.3 142,459 142,039 420 0.3
Diluted142,516 142,578 (62) 142,496 142,413 83 0.1
DIVIDENDS DECLARED PER COMMON SHARE$0.40 $0.38 $0.02 5.3 $1.20 $1.14 $0.06 5.3
Effective income tax rate26% 34% 27% 35%


Source:Westar Energy, Inc.