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Alternative energy investments weigh on HEI's profitability

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 3:01 p.m. HST, Aug 3, 2011

Hawaiian Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. said investment in clean energy technology at its utility subsidiary weighed on its profitability in the second quarter.

HEI reported net income of $27.1 million, or 28 cents per share in the April-to-June period, down from  $29.3 million, or 31 cents a share in the second quarter of 2010.

“Earnings were lower in the second quarter as our utilities invested in their clean energy and reliability strategies which required additional capital investments and higher operating expenses,” said Constance Lau, HEI president and chief executive officer.

Net income at HEI’s utilities in Honolulu, Maui and Hawaii counties was $17.0 million in the second quarter compared to $17.6 million for the same period a year earlier.

Lau said an interim rate hike recently approved for Hawaiian Electric Co. by the state Public Utilities Commission should allow earnings to improve in the second half of 2011.

HEI’s American Savings Bank unit experienced “another solid quarter” Lau said, with continued improvement in credit quality and loan growth for the third consecutive quarter.

The earnings report was released after the market closed. HEI shares closed down 4 cents at $23.07 on the New York Stock Exchange. The share price was unchanged in after-market trading.

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