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HEI earnings muted by write-down at utility subsidiary

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 4:22 p.m. HST, Feb 15, 2013

Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. reported a sharp decline in fourth-quarter net income due largely to a $24 million write-down related to rate relief the company is proposing for its utility customers.

HEI said it earned $13.8 million, or 14 cents a share, in the October-through-December period, down from $34.2 million, or 36 cents a share, in same quarter a year earlier.

Hawaiian Electric Co., HEI’s utility subsidiary, announced last month that it had reached agreement with the state Division of Consumer Advocacy, to reduce by $60 million the amount of revenue it will seek to recover from ratepayers. The proposal is subject to approval by the Public Utilities Commission.

For the full year HECO reported net income of $138.7 million, little changed from $138.2 million in 2011. Earnings per share were $1.42 in 2012 compared with $1.44 a year earlier.

“HEI’s 2012 earnings reflect Hawaiian Electric Company’s agreement with the consumer advocate, which included a significant write-off of invested capital,” Constance Lau, HEI president and chief executive officer said in a news release. “If approved the agreement will resolve many pending issues, allowing our utilities to continue their focus on reducing Hawaii’s dependence on expensive oil,” Lau said.

The HEI earnings report included results for the company’s bank subsidiary, American Savings Bank, which were released on Jan. 12. American Savings Bank earned $14.4 million in the fourth quarter compared with $15.3 million in the year-earlier period. For the full year American Savings earned $58.6 million versus $59.8 million a year earlier.

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