* Net EPS C$0.37 vs year-earlier C$0.47
* Comparable EPS C$0.40 vs analysts' forecast C$0.49
* Shares fall 1.5 pct
(Adds details and comments)
CALGARY, Alberta, Feb 24 TransAlta Corp
(TA.TO), Canada's biggest publicly owned electricity producer,
said on Wednesday its profit fell 16 percent as higher expenses
ate into its results.
The company said net income fell to C$79 million ($75
million), or 37 Canadian cents a share, in the fourth quarter
from C$94 million, or 47 Canadian cents, in the year-before
Comparable earnings, which exclude most one-time items,
rose 6.3 percent to C$84 million, or 40 Canadian cents a share,
from C$79 million, or 40 Canadian cents.
Analysts on average had forecast comparable earnings of 49
Canadian cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
TransAlta said the rise in comparable earnings resulted
from less downtime at its Alberta power plants, though some of
the increased reliability was offset by lower power prices in
Alberta, a weaker performance from its hydro-electricity
operations and lower trading profits.
Cash flow, a measure of the company's ability to fund new
projects, fell 43 percent to C$246 million from C$428 million
in the year-earlier quarter.
TransAlta's availability, or the amount of its
power-generating capacity that was running, averaged 87 percent
in the quarter, up from 86.2 percent.
Revenue fell 5.6 percent to C$763 million.
TransAlta shares fell 35 Canadian cents to C$23.32 early on
Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
(Reporting by Scott Haggett; editing by Peter Galloway)