Avista sees FY19 EPS $2.78-$2.98, consensus $2.19
The company said, "Avista Corp. is initiating its 2019 guidance for consolidated earnings to be in the range of $2.78 to $2.98 per diluted share, which includes $1.01 per diluted share for the termination fee received from Hydro One and the payment of remaining transaction costs. Due in part to the on-going regulatory proceedings for the Hydro One transaction, we elected not to file any general rate cases during 2018 so the commissions could focus on the merger proceedings. While we received a base rate increase effective January 1, 2019 in Idaho, which was related to a rate plan approved by the Idaho Public Utilities Commission in 2017, we have not received base rate relief in Oregon since November 1, 2017, and have not received base rate relief in Washington since May 1, 2018. During 2017 and 2018, we continued to invest in our utility infrastructure to maintain and enhance our system; however, only limited portions of these costs are reflected in our current rates to customers. As such, we will experience regulatory lag during the period 2019 through 2021 due to the delay in general rate case filings and our continued investment in utility infrastructure. We plan to file general rate cases in Washington, Idaho and Oregon during the first half of 2019 with requested effective dates in early 2020 to begin remedying the regulatory lag. Going forward, we will continue to strive to reduce the regulatory timing lag and more closely align our earned returns with those authorized by 2022. To achieve this, we anticipate an earnings growth rate of 9 percent to 10 percent from 2020 to 2022 and then our normal 4 percent to 5 percent growth rate following 2022. This assumes timely and appropriate rate relief in our jurisdictions."