Hydro One's pursuit of Avista cuts into Q3 profit, revenue down from last year

TORONTO _ Hydro One Ltd. (TSX:H) says its third-quarter profit was down six per cent from last year as a result of costs associated with the proposed $6.7-billion acquisition of Avista Corp., a U.S. utility company based in Spokane, Wash.

Ontario’s largest electricity distributor says its profit attributable to common shareholders was $219 million in the three months ended Sept. 30, down from $233 million last year.

Excluding the costs associated with Avista, Hydro One’s adjusted profit was up two per cent at $237 million.

Hydro One’s earnings per share were down two cents at 37 cents, while adjusted earnings were up one cent at 40 cents per share.

Gross revenue was $1.52 billion, down 10.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2016. Excluding power purchases, net revenue was up 1.3 per cent at $847 million.

Hydro One says its revenue was positively affected by higher transmission rates but negatively affected by lower peak demand and lower energy consumption during mild weather during the summer.

The company has been publicly traded since November 2015, after the provincial government sold some of its shares for $1.83 billion. The province remains Hydro One’s largest shareholder but its stake has fallen below 50 per cent.