AmeriGas predicts net income above St. view

NEW YORK -- Propane company AmeriGas Partners LP on Tuesday predicted net income for its current fiscal year that is above Wall Street expectations, if this winter has "normal" weather.

Last winter, mild winter weather cut demand for products used to generate electricity, including coal, heating oil and natural gas.

The Valley Forge, Pa., company expects net income of $244 million to $274 million for the fiscal year ending in September 2013. Analysts polled by FactSet expect $236.7 million. That includes costs related to its ongoing acquisition of Heritage Propane, which it expects to complete next year.

For another profit measure that excludes interest expense, income taxes, acquisition costs and other one-time items, AmeriGas now expects $630 to $660 million. That's slightly improved from its previous expectation of $620 million to $660 million.

In the year that just ended, on Sept. 30, the company expects to report net income of $6.8 million, including costs related to the acquisition and paying down debt. Analysts expect a loss of $7.9 million.

For the adjusted profit measure, AmeriGas believes it earned about $382 million for the year. That's near the high end of its previous expectation of $375 million to $385 million.

The company will report more detailed results on Nov. 8.

Shares rose 21 cents to $44.46 in late morning trading.