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Hawaiian Electric Industries’ earnings jump 33.7%

Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc.’s earnings soared 33.7% in the fourth quarter as it achieved solid performances from both its utility and American Savings Bank.

The holding company reported today it had net income of $66.3 million, or 61 cents a share, compared with $49.6 million, or 45 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Revenue, however, fell 4.7% to $726 million from $761.7 million.

For the year, HEI’s net income rose 8% to $217.9 million and its revenue edged up 0.5% to $2.87 billion.

The company also increased its dividend by a penny in raising it to 33 cents a share. It will be payable March 30 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Feb. 26. The ex-dividend date is Feb. 25. The annualized yield is 2.65% based on today’s closing price of $49.74.

“HEI’s fourth quarter and 2019 earnings reflect continued solid performance across our companies,” President and CEO Connie Lau said in a statement. “With another year of strong consolidated performance in 2019, and continued confidence in our future prospects, we announced a 3% increase in our dividend.”

Lau said in addition to its strong financial performance last year it made significant strides on key initiatives.

“Our utility launched one of the nation’s largest-ever renewable procurement efforts, which will add significantly to our renewable energy mix once completed,” she said. “And we’re proud that Hawaiian Electric was named ‘Utility of the Year’ by Utility Dive, a prominent industry publication, for advancing many initiatives that are transforming the power sector today, including renewable energy, electric vehicles, and performance-based regulation.”

Individually, subsidiary Hawaiian Electric posted a 28.5% increase in net income to $45.4 million in the fourth quarter even though its revenue fell 5.2% to $645.3 million. Hawaiian Electric achieved 28% of electricity sales from renewable sources in 2019 and is on track to meet or exceed its goal of 30% this year.

HEI’s other subsidiary, American Savings Bank, posted a 30% increase in net income to $28.2 million in the fourth quarter after recognizing an after-tax gain of $7.7 million from the sales of its former headquarters at the Financial Plaza of the Pacific and its Mililani Service Center.

”American Savings Bank completed the sale of two former properties and moved into its state-of-the-art campus, and achieved strong loan growth and an above-peer net interest margin despite the challenging interest rate environment for banks,” Lau said.

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