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Avista Corp. reports $5 million increase in fourth quarter earnings

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 26, 2020

The Washington state Utilities and Transportation Commission earlier this year ordered Avista to refund $8.4 million to customers. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
The Washington state Utilities and Transportation Commission earlier this year ordered Avista to refund $8.4 million to customers. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Avista Corp. on Wednesday reported a $5 million increase in net earnings for the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to the prior year.

Avista reported fourth quarter net income of $50.8 million, or 76 cents per share, compared to $45.8 million, or 70 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to a company release.

The utility company also reported a rise in yearly earnings with net income of $197 million, or $2.87 per share, for the year ending Dec. 31, compared to $136.4 million, or $2.07 per share for the year ending Dec. 31, 2018.

“We had a good year in 2019 as we were in the upper half of our consolidated earnings guidance,” said Dennis Vermillion, Avista’s president and CEO said in a statement.

Avista’s earnings benefited from a $103 million termination fee it received in January from Hydro One Ltd. after Washington and Idaho regulators blocked its sale to the Toronto-based utility in 2018.

The termination fee was used for reimbursing Avista’s transaction costs incurred from 2017 to 2019. Some of those costs were $51 million in income taxes, according to the company release.

Avista reached settlements in general rate cases in Oregon and Idaho during 2019, and is awaiting a decision from the Washington regulators on a partial settlement agreement in a general rate case.

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