Avista Files for Gas Rate Decline

Zacks

Washington state-based energy transmission and distribution company, Avista Corporation (AVA) has filed for a gas rate decline of 10.7% under its Purchase Gas Cost Adjustment (“PGA”) program with the Public Utility Commission of Oregon (“PUC”). If approved Avista’s 96,000 customers in the Oregon region will reap the benefit from this rate decrease from November 1, 2012.

The proposal of rate reduction by Avista comes on the heels of lower wholesale natural gas prices, owing to its abundant supply in the US. Along with this, the rates take into account the acquisition of the Klamath Falls Lateral, which is expected to result in customer savings of roughly $1 million annually from 2013.

The company usually files PGA’s each year to bring about symmetry between the real cost of natural gas purchased and the amount included in the rates. Avista had previously filed electric and natural gas rate decline cases of 2% and 8% respectively in the Idaho region in late July 2012 and is further planning to file general rate cases in Idaho in the second half of 2012.

On receiving approval from the regulatory authority, rate adjustments will take place in two stages. The first adjustment will be effective from November 1, 2012 while the second will come into effect from January 1, 2013. If PUC sanctions the proposed rates, Avista’s annual top-line results related to the natural gas segment will witness an aggregate decline of $10.8 million by January 1, 2013.

The first adjustment would lead to a revenue decrease of $10.0 million (9.9%) while the second a decrease of $0.8 million (0.8%). The company does not mark-up the cost of natural gas it purchases and as a result Avista’s earnings remain unaffected.

Avista’s total natural gas consumer bill constitutes 55% from its combined cost of purchase of gas and transport while the remaining 45% includes the cost of supplying natural gas, the equipment and workers required for safe and reliable service.

We believe there is a sense of uncertainty as PUC could overrule the rate decline proposed by the company which could hurt customers’ confidence. This could impact the company’s stock position severely in the market.

For 2012, the company expects earnings in the range of $1.62-$1.85 per share. Due to reduction in retail loads, Avista expects its earnings to diminish by 10 cents to 12 cents per share in 2012.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the third quarter and full year 2012 are currently pegged at 19 cents per share and $1.65 per share, respectively.

Avista Corporation holds a Zacks #4 Rank implying a short-term Sell rating. The company's closest competitor is IdaCorp, Inc. (IDA).

Avista Corporation is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities provide electric service and natural gas in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon.

Read the Full Research Report on AVA

Read the Full Research Report on IDA

Zacks Investment Research



More From Zacks.com

Rates

View Comments (0)

Recommended for You

  • Brighter China data fails to lift stocks, dollar sags

    China's economy grew 7.3 percent in July-September official data showed, slightly above the 7.2 percent forecast by analysts. The Australian dollar (AUD=D4), often seen as a liquid proxy of Chinese growth prospects given Australia's large trade exposure, got a lift from Beijing's data, while the U.S. Federal Reserve will be able to push ahead in the next year with its first post-financial crisis interest rate hike. "The China data is a bit of a mixed bag but the bigger picture is that the economy is still losing momentum and will continue to slow into next year."

    10 mins ago
  • Bill Gates Accidentally Shows You The Future

    $19 trillion investing revelation hidden in Bill Gates' mansion. See what it is.

    AdChoicesThe Motley FoolSponsored
  • Apple's iPhone sales beat Street but iPad volumes slide

    Apple Inc (AAPL.O) forecast a strong holiday quarter after a better-than-expected 16 percent jump in iPhone sales, and the strongest growth in Mac computer shipments in years helped the company surpass Wall Street's targets. The company on Monday projected stronger-than-expected revenue of $63.5 billion to $66.5 billion in the December quarter, when new iPads and iPhones vie with rival devices from Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) for consumers' holiday outlays. Shares of Apple rose 1.3 percent to about $101.10 in after-hours trade. A gradual decline in tablet demand worldwide has worried investors already concerned with Apple's slowing growth, who are awaiting a new device that can energize its expansion.

    10 mins ago
  • Staples says probing possible payment card data breach

    "Staples is in the process of investigating a potential issue involving credit card data and has contacted law enforcement," company spokesman Mark Cautela said in a statement late Monday. The office-supply retailer disclosed the investigation after security reporter Brian Krebs reported on his blog Krebsonsecurity.com that several banks have identified a pattern of payment card fraud suggesting that several Staples stores in northeastern United States had succumbed to a data breach.

    10 mins ago
  • China's growth slowest since global crisis, annual target at risk

    China grew at its slowest pace since the global financial crisis in the September quarter and risks missing its official target for the first time in 15 years, adding to concerns the world's second-largest economy is becoming a drag on global growth. A pick-up in factory output and government confidence that the labor market remains stable were offset by further slowing in the property sector, and economists remained divided on whether or not authorities would step in with major stimulus measures such as interest rate cuts. China's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 7.3 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, official data showed on Tuesday, the weakest rate since the first quarter of 2009.

    10 mins ago
  • Ackman, Valeant lawyers say Allergan CEO oversaw campaign to discredit Valeant

    Billionaire investor William Ackman, whose fund is the largest shareholder in Allergan Inc., and Valeant Pharmaceuticals said the botox maker's Chief Executive Officer David Pyott tried to discredit Valeant as it was making a hostile takeover bid, court documents showed. Ackman's hedge fund has been working with Valeant for months to craft a deal for Valeant to buy Allergan, but Allergan has rejected all of Valeant's overtures and tried to find other potential partners to avoid a deal. In the filing with the federal court in Santa Ana, California, lawyers said that Pyott provided false and misleading information about Valeant to investors, failed to disclose Allergan CFO Jeff Edward's resignation in a timely manner, and ignored outside advisors' input when he falsely called Valeant's account "opaque" and "problematic."

    10 mins ago
  • Pilots threaten more strikes as Lufthansa walkout continues

    FRANKFURT/BERLIN (Reuters) - Lufthansa's (LHAG.DE) pilots' union said it could call for further strikes this week if the German airline fails to resume negotiations over retirement benefits, heaping pressure on management as the eighth walkout this year continued. Lufthansa pilots began a strike at 7:00 a.m. EDT on Monday on short haul flights and widened that to include long haul flights on Tuesday. "We explicitly do not rule out further strikes this week if Lufthansa doesn't budge," Markus Wahl, a board member at union Vereinigung Cockpit, told Reuters on Tuesday but said he hoped the carrier would make a new offer soon. The walkout, which is due to run until 5:59 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, affects 166,000 passengers and has forced the carrier to cancel more than 1,500 flights, including many of its lucrative long-haul flights from Frankfurt.

    10 mins ago
  • China must accelerate reforms, not rely on fiscal and monetary policy to drive growth: World Bank

    China needs to accelerate reforms and not rely solely on monetary and fiscal policy to drive growth, a top World Bank official said on Tuesday. "I would recommend not really relying more on their macro policy, specifically on the monetary and fiscal side, because it's been done before, especially post the global financial crisis," Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati told Reuters in an interview in Beijing. Indrawati made the comments when asked whether China was reforming fast enough, given that the country posted its weakest economic growth rate in the third quarter since the 2008/09 global financial crisis.

    10 mins ago
  • Keep talking on your cell phone all day and night

    Portable high capacity rechargeable power bank, works with any iOS or Android based smart phone or tablet

    AdChoices5th Dimension Power LLCSponsored
  • AbbVie says $55 billion acquisition of Shire officially dead

    AbbVie, which last week said its board of directors had withdrawn its recommendation to proceed with the Shire purchase, blamed the unraveling on last month's rules changes by the U.S. The company's Chief Executive, Richard Gonzalez, on a conference call with investors, said the new rules and possible future changes "created an environment of risk and uncertainty which makes proceeding not in the best interest of our shareholders." In addition to tax benefits, the acquisition would have given AbbVie Shire's portfolio of lucrative medicines for rare diseases and other specialty drugs, lessening the Chicago-based company's dependence on its rheumatoid arthritis treatment Humira - currently the world's top selling drug with annual sales approaching $13 billion.

    10 mins ago
  • As China gets tougher on fuel economy, some carmakers may be left behind

    SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese automakers from state-owned FAW Co to Zhejiang Geely are racing to sell more eco-friendly cars as they try to meet tough fuel economy rules due next year as part of Beijing's battle against pollution. A technology deficit versus bigger foreign automakers and the cost of developing or obtaining the new technologies needed are likely to speed up consolidation in a fragmented industry of more than 80 registered manufacturers. The Chinese government last week unveiled tough penalties tied to the new fuel economy rules - from naming-and-shaming those who fail to make the grade to restricting production at non-compliant automakers. "Restricting production is a very severe penalty," said He Hui, an analyst at the International Council on Clean Transportation, an adviser to China's government on fuel-economy policies.

    10 mins ago
  • Valeant says may raise Allergan bid; beats on profit

    Valeant CEO Michael Pearson said a possible revised stock and cash bid would be worth more than $200 per share, assuming that Valeant's stock rises, and would include more cash. Allergan stock was up 1.7 percent at $180.45. Valeant's third-quarter results were keenly anticipated for their potential impact on Valeant's bid for Allergan, maker of anti-wrinkle injection Botox. Unlike most quarters in which, according to critics, one-time charges related to acquisitions obscure Valeant's performance, the company made few deals as it stalked Allergan.

    10 mins ago