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HEI’s earnings fall 52.8% due to 2016 merger breakup fee

Dave Segal

A $90 million merger break-up fee swelled Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc.’s third-quarter earnings a year ago.

But the one-time item skewed HEI’s net income this time around as the parent company of American Savings Bank and three major electrical utilities in the state reported today that net income fell 52.8 percent in the July-September period.

HEI’s earnings fell to $60.1 million, or 55 cents a share, from $127.1 million, or $1.17 a share, a year ago when the company received $63.8 million after taxes due to the collapse of its proposed $4.3 billion sale to Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc. The third quarter of 2016 also included favorable tax adjustments of $6 million. Excluding merger-related after-tax income and costs, HEI’s third-quarter 2016 core earnings were $63.3 million and 58 cents a share.

A ruling by the state Public Utilities Commission in July 2016 quashed the sale to NextEra that also would have led to HEI subsidiary American Savings Bank becoming an independent company.

HEI, the parent company of three major electrical utilities in the state, said net income for the utilities was virtually flat last quarter at $47.5 million while the bank’s net income jumped 16.5 percent to $17.6 million despite a decrease in loans. American Savings previously reported its earnings on Monday.

Through its electrical utilities — Hawaiian Electric Co. on Oahu, Hawaii Electric Light Co. on the Big Island and Maui Electric Co. — HEI provides power to approximately 95 percent of Hawaii’s population.

HEI’s stock closed up 18 cents at $36.31 today after the results were released toward the end of the trading session.

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