Sierra Pacific takes loss in Q1, but not as bad as previous year

Sierra Pacific Resources reported a first quarter consolidated loss to common stock of $9.5 million, or 8 cents a share. Electric company officials are heralding this as an improvement over a loss of $44.5 million for the same quarter last year.

Karl Walquist, Sierra Pacific Power Co. spokesman, said Tuesday the loss is attributed to Nevada Power Co., its Southern Nevada operation, which is based in Las Vegas.

"The main reasons for those losses were higher operating and maintenance expenses and higher interest costs on long-term debt or money borrowed on the construction of a new facility," he said. "Nevada Power bought a new power plant from Duke Energy. It was partially completed when they bought it, so they're finishing it now."

Nevada Power Co. reported a net loss of about $8 million for the first quarter, compared with a net loss of $15.4 million the year before.

Electric operating revenues for the quarter increased by 8.5 percent, compared with the same 2004 quarter. The company attributes this to higher rates and increases in the number of residential, commercial and industrial customers.

Walquist said the weather in the south was milder, which resulted in lower sales for this quarter.

"People were using less electricity," he said.

Sierra Pacific Power Co. reported earnings to common stock of $11.2 million, compared with $6.7 million for the same period a year ago.

Electric operating revenues increased by 12.5 percent over the 2004 first quarter because of rate increases and a larger number of residential and commercial customers. Because of a colder winter, gas operating revenues also increased by 13.6 percent from the previous year.

Sierra Pacific Resources' stock fell 2 cents Tuesday to $11.42.

n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.


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