Westar Reports Profits, Hints at Rate Hike

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Westar Energy says an income tax benefit and higher sales contributed to profits more than doubling during the first quarter.

But without the tax benefit, the largest electric utility in Kansas came in under Wall Street expectations. CEO Bill Moore says that reflects capital investments the company has made. He says Westar plans to file a rate request later this month to recover those costs.

For the three months ending March 31, Topeka-based Westar today reported earning almost $61 million, or 63 cents per share. That compares to year-ago earnings of just under $30 million, or 34 cents per share.

In a release, Westar added that earnings also reflected the company selling 10.3 million additional shares since last year to pay for the company's growth.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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