Hydro One reports Q1 profit down on costs to end Avista deal, dividend up

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TORONTO — Hydro One Ltd. raised its dividend as it reported its first-quarter profit fell compared with a year ago as it was hit by costs related to the cancellation of its deal to buy U.S. utility Avista Corp.

The power utility says it will now pay a quarterly dividend of 24.15 cents per share, up from its earlier payment to shareholders of 23 cents.

The increased payment to shareholders came as Hydro One reported a profit of $171 million or 29 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended March 31, down from $222 million or 37 cents per diluted share a year ago.

Revenue totalled $1.76 billion, up from $1.58 billion in the first quarter of 2018.

On an adjusted basis, which excluded the cost to Hydro One to cancel its deal to buy Avista after U.S. regulators said the deal would not sufficiently safeguard customers from the whims of the Ontario government, the utility earned 52 cents per diluted share, up from 35 cents per diluted share a year ago.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 42 cents per share for the quarter, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

 

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