TransAlta Reports Quarterly Profit on Renewables and Trading

TransAlta Corp. (TA), Canada’s largest publicly traded power generator, reported a second-quarter profit helped by results from its renewable-energy division and improvements at its trading unit.

Net income was C$15 million ($15 million), or 6 cents a share, compared with a loss of C$798 million, or C$3.52, a year earlier, the Calgary-based company said in a statement on Marketwired today. Excluding one-time items, the company earned 3 cents a share, less than the 18-cent average of eight analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

A trading loss in the second quarter of 2012 was “abnormal,” Robert Kwan, a Vancouver-based analyst for RBC Capital Markets, wrote in a July 22 note to clients.

TransAlta has gained since announcing on June 26 it plans an initial public offering of some renewable-energy assets. TransAlta Renewables will have about 1,112 net megawatts of wind and hydropower plants. The company, which will retain an 80 percent to 85 percent stake in the renewables unit, expects to raise C$200 million to C$250 million when the share sale closes in August.

TransAlta rose 0.1 percent to C$14.88 yesterday in Toronto. The stock has one hold and six sell recommendations from analysts.

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