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Xcel Energy profits up 3.6 percent

Higher rates helped boost the electric and natural-gas utility company. However, Xcel is concerned the mild winter weather could hurt its bottom line. The Minneapolis-based company operates in eight states.
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Higher rates helped boost the electric and natural-gas utility company. However, Xcel is concerned the mild winter weather could hurt its bottom line. The Minneapolis-based company operates in eight states.

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Xcel Energy's profit jumps nearly 18 percent in third-quarter

Reduced operating expenses over the summer months helped boost Xcel Energy Inc.'s third-quarter earnings, Dow Jones News reports. The Minneapolis-based utility earned $398 million, up nearly 18 percent from $338.3 million a year earlier.

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The Minneapolis-based utility reports first-quarter earnings of $184 million compared to $204 million in 2011. Xcel says the drop was expected because we had one of the warmest winters on record.

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The deal still needs approval by the state Public Utilities Commission. If approved, the average Xcel residential customer would see a 2.7 percent rate increase -- or an additional $2.30 a month.