Ameren +5% after Q4 earnings beat estimates, 2013 swings to profit

Illinois and Missouri utility Ameren (AEE +5%) is among the day's top gainers after reporting Q4 earnings that beat estimates and a full-year 2013 profit of $295M vs. a loss of $974M in 2012.

Q4 strength is attributed to increased rates for Missouri electric and Illinois transmission service; also, colder winter temperatures resulted in greater demand for electric and gas, which also boosted the bottom-line.

Net income from continuing operations totaled $512M for 2013, a slight drop from $516M in 2012, with the decline caused by milder summer weather and expenses from a nuclear refueling outage.

Issues in-line guidance for FY 2014, seeing EPS of $2.25-2.35 vs. $2.28 analyst consensus estimate.

Yesterday, AEE said it gained approval of final routes and substations from state regulators to build the Illinois Rivers transmission project.

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