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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 13:50 EDT

NorthWestern Reports First Quarter 2013 Financial Results

April 25, 2013

Company reports diluted earnings per share of $1.01 for first quarter 2013

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., April 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — NorthWestern Corporation d/b/a NorthWestern Energy (NYSE: NWE) reported financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2013. Net income was $37.9 million, or $1.01 per diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2013, compared with net income of $32.0 million, or $0.88 per diluted share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2012.

“Our first quarter net income was $5.9 million better than the prior year as we continued executing our strategy to add natural gas supply for customers and experienced improved retail and transmission volumes. This was partially offset by higher operating expenses (particularly related to our Distribution System Infrastructure Project), higher property taxes and increased depreciation expense,” said Bob Rowe, Chief Executive Officer. “Our continued focus is to remain committed to funding DSIP and continuing our significant investments in our base electric and gas transmission and distribution systems while we seek additional regulated energy supply resources to provide our customers long-term price stability and resource adequacy.”

    Summary Financial
     Results

                              Three Months Ended March 31,

                             2013                          2012

    Total Revenues                  $313,020                     $309,100

    Cost of Sales         132,196                       138,396

    Gross Margin          180,824                       170,704
                          -------                       -------

    Operating Expenses

    Operating, general
     and administrative    68,837                        65,573

    Property and other
     taxes                 25,759                        23,665

    Depreciation           29,218                        26,433
                           ------                        ------

    Total Operating
     Expenses             123,814                       115,671
                          -------                       -------

    Operating Income       57,010                        55,033
                           ------                        ------

    Interest Expense, net (16,779)                     (15,962)

    Other Income            2,715                           984
                            -----                           ---

    Income Before Income
     Taxes                 42,946                        40,055

    Income Tax Expense     (5,044)                       (8,012)
                           ------                        ------

    Net Income                       $37,902                      $32,043
                                                                  =======

    Average Common Shares
     Outstanding           37,384                        36,328
                           ------                        ------

    Basic Earnings per
     Average Common Share              $1.01                        $0.88

    Diluted Earnings per
     Average Common Share              $1.01                        $0.88
                                       -----

    Dividends Declared
     per Average Common
     Share                             $0.38                        $0.37
                                       -----                        -----

Recent significant items

  • Improvement in net income of approximately $5.9 million as compared with the first quarter of 2012, due primarily to:

    • Higher gross margin of $10.1 million, primarily due to:
      • an increase in revenues associated with natural gas production;
      • increased retail natural gas and electric volumes, driven by colder winter weather;
      • an increase in transmission capacity revenues; and
      • the acquisition of the Spion Kop wind farm during the fourth quarter of 2012.
    • higher capitalization of accumulated funds used during construction on projects (AFUDC); and
    • lower income tax expense of about $3.0 million, driven by production tax credits associated with Spion Kop and an increase in flow-through repairs deductions.

These increases were partially offset by:

    • higher operating expenses of $8.1 million, primarily due to:

      • Incremental costs related to the Distribution System Infrastructure Project (DSIP) that had been deferred in 2012, pursuant an Montana Public Service Commission (MPSC) approval of an accounting order;
      • higher natural gas production costs;
      • an increase in plant operator costs related to the Spion Kop acquisition; and
      • higher other operating expenses of $4.9 million, related to property taxes and depreciation;
  • In April, the MPSC approved settlement agreements between NorthWestern and intervenors to increase our annual natural gas delivery rates by approximately $11.5 million, effective April 1, 2013, based on a return on equity of 9.8%; and
  • Received proceeds of approximately $17.7 million after commissions and other fees from the sale of 459,246 common shares under our Equity Distribution Agreement.
    Summary Financial Results

    The following table reconciles the primary changes from the first quarter 2012 to 2013:

                                                           Three Months Ended March 31,
                                                           ----------------------------

                                                      Pre-tax       Net      EPS

                   ($millions, except EPS)           Income    Income(1)  Diluted
                    ----------------------           ------    --------   -------

             2012 reported                                         $40.0                        $32.0      $0.88

    Gross Margin

             Natural gas production                       3.6                 2.2                0.05

             Transmission capacity                        2.5                 1.5                0.04

             Natural gas retail volumes                   1.8                 1.1                0.03

             Spion Kop                                    1.6                 1.0                0.03

             DSM lost revenues                            0.9                 0.6                0.02

             Transportation and storage capacity          0.9                 0.6                0.02

             Electric retail volumes                      0.8                 0.5                0.01

             Montana property tax tracker                 0.4                 0.2                0.01

             DGGS                                        (4.3)               (2.6)             (0.07)

             Other                                        1.9                 1.2                0.03
                                                          ---

                  Subtotal - Gross Margin                10.1                 6.3                0.17

    OG&A Expense

              Distribution System Infrastructure
              Project (DSIP) expenses                    (2.6)               (1.6)             (0.04)

              Non-employee directors deferred
              compensation                               (1.4)               (0.9)             (0.02)

             Natural gas production                      (0.9)               (0.6)             (0.02)

             Insurance expense                           (0.7)               (0.4)             (0.01)

             Plant operator costs                        (0.5)               (0.3)             (0.01)

             Pension and employee benefits                4.2                 2.6                0.07

             Other                                       (1.3)               (0.8)             (0.02)
                                                        -----

                  Subtotal - OG&A Expense                (3.2)               (2.0)             (0.05)

    Other

             Depreciation expense                        (2.8)               (1.7)             (0.05)

             Property and other taxes                    (2.1)               (1.3)             (0.03)

             Interest expense                            (0.8)               (0.5)             (0.01)

             Other income                                 1.7                 1.0                0.03

    Income tax and other items

             Flow-through repairs deductions                         2.1                 0.06

             Production tax credits                                  1.2                 0.03

              Flow-through of state bonus
              depreciation deduction                                 0.4                 0.01

             State income tax and other, net                         0.3                 0.01

             Impact of higher share count                                   (0.03)

             All other, net                                 -                 0.1              (0.01)
                                                          ---

                  Total EPS impact of above items                            0.13

             2013 reported                               42.9                37.9                1.01

    (1) Income Tax Benefit (Expense) calculation on reconciling items assumes effective tax rate of 38.5%.

For more information see www.northwesternenergy.com/documents/investor/Q113.pdf

Significant Drivers

Gross Margin

Consolidated gross margin for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 was $180.8 million compared with $170.7 million for the same period of 2012. Consolidated gross margin increased $10.1 million primarily due to:

  • An increase in natural gas production margin, primarily due to the acquisition of the Bear Paw assets in the third quarter of 2012;
  • An increase in natural gas and electric retail volumes due primarily to colder winter weather;
  • An increase in transmission capacity revenues due to higher demand to transmit energy for others across our lines;
  • The acquisition of the Spion Kop wind farm in the fourth quarter of 2012;
  • An increase in demand side management lost revenues recovered through our supply trackers related to efficiency measures implemented by customers;
  • An increase in transportation and storage capacity revenues due to higher demand to transmit natural gas for others across our pipelines and higher demand to store natural gas for others as a result of lower average natural gas prices; and
  • An increase in Montana property taxes included in a tracker.

These increases were partly offset by:

  • Lower Dave Gates Generating Station revenue in the first quarter 2013, as the same period in 2012 included recognition of approximately $2.7 million that we had deferred in prior periods pending outcome of allocation uncertainty; and
  • During the first quarter of 2013, our FERC related deferral increased by approximately $1.6 million as compared with 2012 due to the initial FERC ALJ non-binding decision.

Operating, General and Administrative Expenses

Consolidated operating, general and administrative expenses were $68.8 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 as compared with $65.6 million during the same period of 2012. The increase in operating, general and administrative expenses of $3.2 million was primarily due to:

  • Incremental expenses related to DSIP;
  • Non-employee directors deferred compensation increased primarily due to changes in our stock price with an equal and offsetting impact to other income;
  • Higher natural gas production costs due to the Bear Paw acquisition;
  • Increased insurance expense primarily due to general liability matters; and
  • Higher plant operator costs primarily due to the Spion Kop acquisition.

These increases were partly offset by lower employee benefits primarily due to decreased pension expense.

Property and Other Taxes

Property and other taxes were $25.8 million for the three months ended March 31, 2013, as compared with $23.7 million in the same period of 2012. This increase was primarily due to higher estimated property valuations in Montana and plant additions.

Depreciation Expense

Depreciation expense was $29.2 million for the three months ended March 31, 2013, as compared with $26.4 million in the same period of 2012. This increase was primarily due to plant additions.

Interest Expense

Consolidated interest expense was $16.8 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 as compared with $16.0 million during the same period of 2012. This increase was primarily due to higher debt outstanding partially offset by higher capitalization of AFUDC.

Income Tax Expense

Consolidated income tax expense for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 was $5.0 million as compared with $8.0 million in same period of 2012. The effective tax rate for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 was 11.7% as compared with 20.0% for the same period of 2012. The effective tax rate differs from the federal statutory tax rate of 35% primarily due to repairs deductions, state tax benefit of bonus depreciation deductions and production tax credits.

The following table summarizes the significant differences from the Federal statutory rate, which result in reduced income tax expense:

                                    Three months ended March 31,

                                            (in millions)

                                          2013             2012
                                          ----             ----

    Income Before Income Taxes                   $42.9                 $40.1
                                                 -----                 -----

    Income tax calculated at 35%
     Federal statutory rate               15.0                   14.0

    Permanent or flow through
     adjustments:
    -------------------------

    Flow-through repairs deductions       (7.7)                  (5.6)

    Production tax credits                (1.2)                     -

    Flow-through of state bonus
     depreciation deduction               (1.8)                  (1.4)

    State income tax and other, net        0.7                    1.0

                                         (10.0)                  (6.0)
                                         -----                   ----

    Income tax expense                            $5.0                  $8.0
                                                  ====                  ====

Liquidity and Capital Resources

As of March 31, 2013, cash and cash equivalents were $6.9 million compared with $7.8 million at March 31, 2012. The Company had $253.5 million available from its revolving credit facility at March 31, 2013, compared with $177.0 million at March 31, 2012.

Dividend Declared

NorthWestern’s Board of Directors declared a quarterly common stock dividend of $0.38 per share, payable June 30, 2013, to common shareholders of record as of June 14, 2013.

2013 Earnings Reaffirmed

NorthWestern reaffirms its 2013 earnings to be $2.40 – 2.55 per diluted share.

Basic assumptions include the following expectations:

  • A consolidated income tax rate of approximately 12% of pre-tax income;
  • Colstrip Unit 4, Big Stone, and Coyote generation plants are scheduled for routine maintenance during second quarter of 2013
  • Diluted average shares outstanding of 38.1 million; and
  • Normal weather in the Company’s electric and natural gas service territories for the remainder of 2013.

Company Hosting Investor Conference Call

As previously announced, NorthWestern will host an investor conference call today at 3:30 pm Eastern Time to review its financial results for the year ended March 31, 2013.

The conference call will be webcast live on the Internet at http://www.northwesternenergy.com under the “Investor Information” heading. To listen, please go to the site at least 10 minutes in advance of the call to register. An archived webcast will be available shortly after the call.

A telephonic replay of the call will be available beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET on April 25, 2013 through May 25, 2013, at (888) 203-1112 access code 2569194.

Annual Stockholders Meeting to be Held today

As previously announced, NorthWestern will hold its annual stockholders meeting today at 10:00 a.m. Central Daylight Time at the NorthWestern Energy Operations Center, 600 Market Street West, Huron, South Dakota.

The annual stockholders meeting will be webcast live on the Internet at http://www.northwesternenergy.com under the “Investor Information” heading.

To listen, please go to the site at least 10 minutes in advance of the call to register. An archived webcast will be available shortly after the call.

About NorthWestern Energy

NorthWestern Energy provides electricity and natural gas to approximately 673,200 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. More information on NorthWestern Energy is available on the Company’s Web site at www.northwesternenergy.com.

SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, without limitation, the information under “2013 Earnings Outlook”. Forward-looking statements often address our expected future business and financial performance, and often contain words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” or “will.” These statements are based upon our current expectations and speak only as of the date hereof. Our actual future business and financial performance may differ materially and adversely from those expressed in any forward-looking statements as a result of various factors and uncertainties, including, but not limited to:

  • potential adverse federal, state, or local legislation or regulation or adverse determinations by regulators could have a material effect on our liquidity, results of operations and financial condition;
  • changes in availability of trade credit, creditworthiness of counterparties, usage, commodity prices, fuel supply costs or availability due to higher demand, shortages, weather conditions, transportation problems or other developments, may reduce revenues or may increase operating costs, each of which could adversely affect our liquidity and results of operations;
  • unscheduled generation outages or forced reductions in output, maintenance or repairs, which may reduce revenues and increase cost of sales or may require additional capital expenditures or other increased operating costs; and
  • adverse changes in general economic and competitive conditions in the U.S. financial markets and in our service territories.

Our Annual Report on Form 10-K, recent and forthcoming Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, recent Current Reports on Form 8-K and other Securities and Exchange Commission filings discuss some of the important risk factors that may affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Non-GAAP Financial Measure

This press release includes financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP, as well as other financial measures, such as Gross Margin, that is considered a “non-GAAP financial measures.” Generally, a non-GAAP financial measure is a numerical measure of a company’s financial performance, financial position or cash flows that exclude (or include) amounts that are included in (or excluded from) the most directly comparable measure calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP. Gross Margin (Revenues less Cost of Sales) is a non-GAAP financial measure due to the exclusion of depreciation from the measure. The presentation of Gross Margin is intended to supplement investors’ understanding of our operating performance. Gross Margin is used by us to determine whether we are collecting the appropriate amount of energy costs from customers to allow recovery of operating costs. Our Gross Margin measure may not be comparable to other companies’ Gross Margin measure. Furthermore, this measure is not intended to replace operating income as determined in accordance with GAAP as an indicator of operating performance.

                                NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION

                      CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME

                                      (Unaudited)

                        (in thousands, except per share amounts)

                                           Three Months Ended March 31,

                                          2013                          2012
                                          ----                          ----

    Revenues

    Electric                                     $210,092                     $207,055

    Gas                                102,518                       101,746

    Other                                  410                           299
                                           ---                           ---

    Total Revenues                     313,020                       309,100
                                       -------                       -------

    Operating
     Expenses

    Cost of Sales                      132,196                       138,396

    Operating,
     general and
     administrative                     68,837                        65,573

    Property and
     other taxes                        25,759                        23,665

    Depreciation                        29,218                        26,433
                                        ------                        ------

    Total Operating
     Expenses                          256,010                       254,067
                                       -------                       -------

    Operating Income                    57,010                        55,033

    Interest Expense,
     net                               (16,779)                     (15,962)

    Other Income                         2,715                           984
                                         -----                           ---

    Income Before
     Income Taxes                       42,946                        40,055

    Income Tax
     Expense                            (5,044)                       (8,012)
                                        ------                        ------

    Net Income                                    $37,902                      $32,043

    Average Common
     Shares
     Outstanding                        37,384                        36,328
                                        ------                        ------

    Basic Earnings
     per Average
     Common Share                                   $1.01                        $0.88

    Diluted Earnings
     per Average
     Common Share                                   $1.01                        $0.88

    Dividends
     Declared per
     Average Common
     Share                                          $0.38                        $0.37
                                                    -----                        -----

Average shares used in computing the basic and diluted earnings per share are as follows:

                                  Three Months Ended

                        March 31, 2013          March 31, 2012
                        --------------          --------------

    Basic computation       37,384,429                         36,328,360

    Dilutive effect of

    Restricted stock
     and performance
     share awards              101,305                            171,933

    Diluted computation     37,485,734                         36,500,293
                            ==========                         ==========

                                NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION

                          CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS

                                       (Unaudited)

                                     (in thousands)

                                   March 31, 2013              December 31, 2012
                                   --------------              -----------------

    ASSETS

    Current
     Assets                                          $265,378                      $303,128

    Property,
     Plant, and
     Equipment,
     Net                                2,444,405                      2,435,590

    Goodwill                              355,128                        355,128

    Regulatory
     Assets                               388,483                        367,890

    Other
     Noncurrent
     Assets                                27,336                         23,797
                                           ------                         ------

    Total
     Assets                                        $3,480,730                    $3,485,533
                                                   ==========                    ==========

    LIABILITIES AND
     SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY

    Current
     Maturities
     of Long-
     term Debt
     and
     Capital
     Leases                                            $1,638                        $1,612

    Short-term
     Borrowings                            43,985                        122,934

    Other
     Current
     Liabilities                          330,413                        324,719

    Long-term
     Capital
     Leases                                31,146                         31,562

    Long-term
     Debt                               1,055,079                      1,055,074

    Noncurrent
     Regulatory
     Liabilities                          279,784                        276,618

    Deferred
     Income
     Taxes                                382,636                        363,928

    Other
     Noncurrent
     Liabilities                          380,439                        375,054
                                          -------                        -------

    Total
     Liabilities                        2,505,120                      2,551,501
                                        ---------                      ---------

    Total
     Shareholders'
     Equity                               975,610                        934,032
                                          -------                        -------

    Total
     Liabilities
     and
     Shareholders'
     Equity                                        $3,480,730                    $3,485,533
                                                   ==========                    ==========

                                     NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION

                         CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS

                                          (in thousands)

                                     Three Months Ended March 31,
                                     ----------------------------

                                     2013                         2012
                                     ----                         ----

    Operating Activities

    Net income                              $37,902                      $32,043

    Non-cash items                 55,953                       46,807

    Changes in
     operating assets
     and liabilities               18,025                       41,075
                                   ------                       ------

    Cash Provided by
     Operating
     Activities                   111,880                      119,925

    Cash Used in
     Investing
     Activities                   (38,114)                    (47,027)

    Cash Used in
     Financing
     Activities                   (76,704)                    (71,034)

    Net (Decrease)
     Increase in Cash
     and Cash
     Equivalents                   (2,938)                       1,864
                                   ------                        -----

    Cash and Cash
     Equivalents,
     beginning of
     period                         9,822                        5,928
                                    -----                        -----

    Cash and Cash
     Equivalents, end
     of period                               $6,884                       $7,792
                                             ======                       ======

                                             NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION

                                            REGULATED ELECTRIC SEGMENT

                                           Three Months Ended March 31,

                                                   (Unaudited)

                                          Results
                                       -------

                   2013            2012             Change             % Change
                   ----            ----             ------             --------

                                (dollars in millions)

     Retail
     revenue             $200.0                                $192.0               $8.0  4.2%

     Regulatory
     amortization  (5.9)                    (0.5)                          (5.4) 1,080.0
                   ----                     ----                           ----  -------

        Total
        retail
        revenues  194.1                    191.5                            2.6      1.4

    Transmission   13.6                     11.1                            2.5     22.5

     Ancillary
     Services       0.4                      2.2                           (1.8)   (81.8)

    Wholesale       0.5                      0.9                           (0.4)   (44.4)

    Other           1.5                      1.4                            0.1      7.1
                    ---                      ---                            ---      ---

     Total
     Revenues            $210.1                                $207.1               $3.0  1.4

     Total
     Cost
     of
     Sales         83.1                     83.0                            0.1      0.1
                   ----                     ----                            ---      ---

     Gross
     Margin              $127.0                                $124.1               $2.9  2.3%
                         ------                                ------               ----  ---
                                       Revenues                   Megawatt Hours
                                                                     (MWH)                      Avg. Customer Counts
                                       --------                   --------------               --------------------

                               2013                     2012      2013           2012        2013             2012
                               ----                     ----      ----           ----        ----             ----

                                               (in thousands)

    Retail Electric

    Montana                          $76,006                   $72,137                  681                    671          276,601         274,164

    South Dakota             13,824                   12,986               178                160                    49,175          48,840
                             ------                   ------               ---                ---                    ------          ------

    Residential              89,830                   85,123               859                831                   325,776         323,004
                             ------                   ------               ---                ---                   -------         -------

    Montana                  77,772                   75,696               780                794                    62,638          62,010

    South Dakota             17,344                   16,916               245                235                    12,060          11,954
                             ------                   ------               ---                ---                    ------          ------

    Commercial               95,116                   92,612             1,025              1,029                    74,698          73,964
                             ------                   ------             -----              -----                    ------          ------

    Industrial               10,401                    9,637               748                730                        74              73

    Other                     4,660                    4,581                23                 23                     4,509           4,511
                              -----                    -----               ---                ---                     -----           -----

    Total Retail Electric           $200,007                  $191,953                2,655                  2,613          405,057         401,552

    Total Wholesale Electric            $507                      $869                   23                     53                -               -
                                        ====                      ====                  ===                    ===              ===             ===

                   Degree Days              2013 as compared with:
                   -----------              ----------------------

     Heating
     Degree-
     Days     2013    2012          Historic                               2012 Historic
              ----    ----          --------                               ---- --------

    Montana  3,223            3,039           3,283                 6% colder         2% warmer

     South
     Dakota  4,217            3,417           4,054                23% colder         4% colder

                                              NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION

                                           REGULATED NATURAL GAS SEGMENT

                                            Three Months Ended March 31,

                                                    (Unaudited)

                                           Results
                                        -------

                    2013            2012             Change            % Change
                    ----            ----             ------            --------

                                 (dollars in millions)

     Retail
     revenues             $101.7                                $95.6              $6.1   6.4%

     Regulatory
     amortization  (10.4)                    (3.2)                         (7.2)  225.0
                   -----                     ----                          ----   -----

          Total
          retail
          revenues  91.3                     92.4                          (1.1)   (1.2)

     Wholesale
     and
     other          11.2                      9.3                           1.9    20.4
                    ----                      ---                           ---    ----

     Total
     Revenues      102.5                    101.7                           0.8     0.8

     Total
     Cost
     of
     Sales          49.1                     55.4                          (6.3) (11.4)
                    ----                     ----                          ----   -----

     Gross
     Margin                $53.4                                $46.3              $7.1  15.3%
                           -----                                -----              ----  ----
                                Revenue                      Dekatherms (Dkt)               Avg. Customer Counts
                                -------                       ---------------               --------------------

                       2013                  2012         2013            2012         2013      2012
                       ----                  ----         ----            ----         ----      ----

                                        (in thousands)

    Retail Gas

    Montana                  $42,864                   $41,839                  5,161           4,983            161,070         159,886

    South Dakota     11,879                10,363                1,512                1,256             38,461            38,098

    Nebraska         10,913                 9,421                1,276                1,141             37,028            36,918
                     ------                 -----                -----                -----             ------            ------

    Residential      65,656                61,623                7,949                7,380            236,559           234,902
                     ------                ------                -----                -----            -------           -------

    Montana          21,540                21,050                2,621                2,524             22,534            22,427

    South Dakota      7,818                 6,653                1,271                1,051              6,083             6,001

    Nebraska          5,777                 5,415                  871                  829              4,655             4,639
                      -----                 -----                  ---                  ---              -----             -----

    Commercial       35,135                33,118                4,763                4,404             33,272            33,067
                     ------                ------                -----                -----             ------            ------

    Industrial          460                   443                   57                   54                266               277

    Other               416                   395                   58                   53                158               150
                        ---                   ---                  ---                  ---                ---               ---

    Total Retail Gas        $101,667                   $95,579                 12,827          11,891            270,255         268,396
                            ========                   =======                 ======          ======            =======         =======

                   Degree Days                  2013 as compared with:
                   -----------                  ----------------------

    Heating
     Degree-
     Days     2013    2012          Historic Average                           2012 Historic Average
              ----    ----          ----------------                           ---- ----------------

    Montana  3,223            3,039                3,283                6% colder            2% warmer

    South
     Dakota  4,217            3,417                4,054               23% colder            4% colder

    Nebraska 3,355            2,949                3,365               14% colder        remained flat

                                                                   NORTHWESTERN CORPORATION

                                                                FIRST QUARTER SEGMENT RESULTS

                                                                         (Unaudited)

                                                                        (in thousands)

    Three Months Ended

    March 31, 2013      Electric            Gas        Other            Eliminations             Total
                        --------            ---        -----            ------------             -----

    Operating revenues             $210,092            $102,518                                  $410        $    - $313,020

    Cost of sales          83,095               49,101                -                             -  132,196
                           ------               ------              ---                           ---  -------

    Gross margin          126,997               53,417              410                             -  180,824
                          -------               ------              ---                           ---  -------

    Operating, general
     and administrative    45,718               19,895            3,224                             -   68,837

    Property and other
     taxes                 19,152                6,604                3                             -   25,759

    Depreciation           23,611                5,599                8                             -   29,218
                           ------                -----              ---                           ---   ------

    Operating income
     (loss)                38,516               21,319          (2,825)                             -   57,010
                           ------               ------           ------                           ---   ------

    Interest expense      (14,127)             (2,426)             (226)                            -  (16,779)

    Other income            2,011                  677               27                             -    2,715

    Income tax
     (expense) benefit     (4,304)             (1,772)            1,032                             -   (5,044)
                           ------               ------            -----                           ---   ------

    Net income (loss)               $22,096             $17,798                               $(1,992)       $    -  $37,902
                                    -------             -------                               -------      ---  ---  -------
    Three Months Ended

    March 31, 2012      Electric            Gas         Other          Eliminations         Total
                        --------            ---         -----          ------------         -----

    Operating revenues             $207,055          $101,746                          $299             $    - $309,100

    Cost of sales          82,979             55,417                -                     -       138,396
                           ------             ------              ---                   ---       -------

    Gross margin          124,076             46,329              299                     -       170,704
                          -------             ------              ---                   ---       -------

    Operating, general
     and administrative    45,357             19,288              928                     -        65,573

    Property and other
     taxes                 17,538              6,124                3                     -        23,665

    Depreciation           21,569              4,856                8                     -        26,433
                           ------              -----              ---                   ---        ------

    Operating income
     (loss)                39,612             16,061             (640)                    -        55,033
                           ------             ------             ----                   ---        ------

    Interest expense      (13,667)           (2,067)             (228)                    -       (15,962)

    Other income              612                345               27                     -           984

    Income tax expense     (3,174)           (3,590)          (1,248)                     -        (8,012)
                           ------             ------           ------                   ---        ------

    Net income (loss)               $23,383           $10,749                       $(2,089)            $    -  $32,043
                                    -------           -------                       -------           ---  ---  -------

SOURCE NorthWestern Corporation


Source: PR Newswire