TOPEKA, Kan., Aug. 08, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WR) today announced earnings of $72 million, or $0.50 per share, for the second quarter 2017 compared with earnings of $72 million, or $0.51 per share, for the second quarter 2016. Earnings for the six months ended June 30, 2017 were $132 million, or $0.92 per share, compared with $138 million, or $0.97 per share, for the same period in 2016.

Lower earnings per share for the second quarter were driven by lower residential and commercial sales primarily due to milder weather this year compared to last year.  The lower sales were partially offset by a decrease in merger-related expenses and lower employee benefit costs.
           
Lower earnings per share for the six months ended June 30, 2017 were also driven by the effect of mild weather this year when compared to last year resulting in lower residential and commercial sales. Also contributing to lower net income was a decrease in corporate-owned life insurance income. Partially offsetting lower sales was a decrease in merger-related expenses.

Conference Call and Additional Company Information

Westar Energy management will host a conference call Wednesday, Aug. 9 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 59525914. 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 second-quarter financial information, the company's quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended June 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 and Aug. 8, 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 (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.


Westar Energy, Inc.
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income
(Unaudited)
 
 Three Months Ended June 30, Six Months Ended June 30,
 2017 2016 Change % Change 2017 2016 Change % Change
 (Dollars In Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts)
REVENUES:               
Residential $188,142  $202,838  $(14,696) (7.2) $364,310  $382,128  $(17,818) (4.7)
Commercial 182,110  188,197  (6,087) (3.2) 337,817  353,870  (16,053) (4.5)
Industrial 107,990  108,004  (14)   206,506  208,702  (2,196) (1.1)
Other retail (10,092) (16,502) 6,410  38.8  (22,440) (30,884) 8,444  27.3 
Total Retail Revenues 468,150  482,537  (14,387) (3.0) 886,193  913,816  (27,623) (3.0)
Wholesale 63,044  66,687  (3,643) (5.5) 140,411  134,099  6,312  4.7 
Transmission 70,152  66,620  3,532  5.3  139,593  130,535  9,058  6.9 
Other 7,975  5,604  2,371  42.3  15,698  12,448  3,250  26.1 
Total Revenues 609,321  621,448  (12,127) (2.0) 1,181,895  1,190,898  (9,003) (0.8)
OPERATING EXPENSES:               
Fuel and purchased power 111,790  118,630  (6,840) (5.8) 225,645  218,688  6,957  3.2 
SPP network transmission costs 61,763  55,227  6,536  11.8  122,437  115,987  6,450  5.6 
Operating and maintenance 87,158  85,619  1,539  1.8  168,356  163,377  4,979  3.0 
Depreciation and amortization 94,029  84,226  9,803  11.6  182,655  167,866  14,789  8.8 
Selling, general and administrative 57,579  75,724  (18,145) (24.0) 116,735  132,179  (15,444) (11.7)
Taxes other than income tax 41,890  48,407  (6,517) (13.5) 84,606  97,375  (12,769) (13.1)
Total Operating Expenses 454,209  467,833  (13,624) (2.9) 900,434  895,472  4,962  0.6 
INCOME FROM OPERATIONS 155,112  153,615  1,497  1.0  281,461  295,426  (13,965) (4.7)
OTHER INCOME (EXPENSE):               
Investment earnings 2,636  2,280  356  15.6  5,790  4,296  1,494  34.8 
Other income 523  3,382  (2,859) (84.5) 1,823  12,860  (11,037) (85.8)
Other expense (2,647) (2,908) 261  9.0  (7,963) (8,451) 488  5.8 
Total Other Income (Expense) 512  2,754  (2,242) (81.4) (350) 8,705  (9,055) (104.0)
Interest expense 43,679  39,683  3,996  10.1  84,774  80,114  4,660  5.8 
INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES 111,945  116,686  (4,741) (4.1) 196,337  224,017  (27,680) (12.4)
Income tax expense 35,906  40,542  (4,636) (11.4) 56,816  79,165  (22,349) (28.2)
NET INCOME 76,039  76,144  (105) (0.1) 139,521  144,852  (5,331) (3.7)
Less: Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests 3,974  3,804  170  4.5  7,795  6,927  868  12.5 
NET INCOME ATTRIBUTABLE TO WESTAR ENERGY, INC.$72,065  $72,340  $(275) (0.4) $131,726  $137,925  $(6,199) (4.5)
BASIC AND DILUTED EARNINGS PER AVERAGE COMMON SHARE OUTSTANDING ATTRIBUTABLE TO WESTAR ENERGY, INC. (See 10-Q Note 2):               
Basic earnings per common share $0.50  $0.51  $(0.01) (2.0) $0.92  $0.97  $(0.05) (5.2)
Diluted earnings per common share $0.50  $0.51  $(0.01) (2.0) $0.92  $0.97  $(0.05) (5.2)
AVERAGE EQUIVALENT COMMON SHARES OUTSTANDING  (in thousands):               
Basic 142,466  142,034  432  0.3  142,451  142,013  438  0.3 
Diluted 142,596  142,497  99  0.1  142,579  142,361  218  0.2 
DIVIDENDS DECLARED PER COMMON SHARE $0.40  $0.38  $0.02  5.3  $0.80  $0.76  $0.04  5.3 
Effective income tax rate 32% 35%     29% 35%    

 

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