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Xcel reports Q1 earnings dip

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First-quarter earnings at Xcel Energy Inc. dropped 4 percent, from $174 million, or 38 cents per share, to $167 million, or 36 cents per share.

The Minneapolis-based power utility said higher gas and electricity margins and increased sales, especially to Colorado and Texas residents, were offset by increases in operating and maintenance expenses and property taxes.

Xcel’s revenues for the quarter increased 4 percent to $2.81 billion from $2.7 billion in the prior-year quarter.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters predicted earnings of 41 cents per share on $2.84 billion in revenue.

Xcel said profits would have been 42 cents per share excluding one-time charges.

Chairman and CEO Richard Kelly reaffirmed Xcel’s 2010 ongoing per-share earnings predictions of $1.55 to $1.65. Analysts estimate year-end earnings at $1.62.

Xcel’s shares (NYSE: XEL) were trading at $21.58 per share Thursday afternoon, up by about 9 cents, or less than 1 percent, for the day.

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