TransAlta Quarterly Profit Falls as Power Generation Declines

TransAlta Corp. (TA), Canada’s largest publicly traded power generator, reported a third-quarter loss on a write off for one of its assets.

The company reported a C$9 million net loss ($8.6 million), or 3 cents a share, compared with C$56 million, or 24 cents, a year earlier, the Calgary-based company said in a statement on Marketwired today. Excluding one-time items, per-share profit was 3 cents less than the 18-cent average of seven analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The company’s earnings have fallen short of analysts’ expectations for the previous seven quarters.

Higher power prices in Alberta were offset by lower production, while the company’s Centralia coal-fired plant in Washington contributed less to earnings amid falling Pacific Northwest prices, Robert Kwan, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets in Vancouver, said in an Oct. 22 note to clients.

The 104-year-old electricity producer, owner of plants in Canada, the U.S. and Australia, raised C$200 million in August by selling shares in its renewable-energy division. TransAlta Renewables has about 1,112 net megawatts of wind and hydropower plants and TransAlta retains a 82.6 percent stake in the publicly-traded unit.

The earnings were released before the start of regular trading on North American markets. TransAlta fell 1.1 percent to C$14.18 at the close in Toronto yesterday. The stock has six sell recommendations, three buys and four holds from analysts.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeremy van Loon in Calgary at jvanloon@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Susan Warren at susanwarren@bloomberg.net

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