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April 25, 2019

Renewable energy takes bite out of Avangrid's 1Q profits

Photo | Vineyard Wind Vineyard Wind is the nation's first utility-scale offshore wind energy project more than 14 miles off the coast of Massachusetts.

United Illuminating and Connecticut Natural Gas parent Avangrid said its renewable energy segment was the culprit behind an 11 percent drop in its first-quarter net income.

The Orange-based company reported profits of $217 million, or 70 cents per diluted share, for the three months ended March 31, down from $244 million, or 79 cents, in the year-ago quarter.

Operating revenue fell $23 million, or 1.2 percent, to $1.84 billion, while operating expenses climbed $39 million, or 2.7 percent, to $1.5 billion.

While its electric and gas utilities segment saw flat profits, its renewables segment saw earnings per share fall to 1 cent from 16 cents a year ago. That was because Avangrid overestimated how much energy its portfolio of wind farms would produce.

“For the quarter, the wind resources for the Renewables business continued to be significantly below our forecast …” CEO James P. Torgerson said in a statement.

The renewables business is based in Oregon, and as of the end of 2018, had 6,466 megawatts worth of installed wind capacity across the country.

Releasing its earnings after the close of the market Wednesday, Avangrid revised downward its 2019 earnings outlook for the renewables segment, to a range of 41 cents to 49 cents, down from a previously forecasted range of 45 cents to 53 cents.

Avangrid’s stock price opened on Thursday at $50.15, down $2.48 or 4.7 percent, but had recovered to $51.06 as of mid-morning.

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