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Alliant Energy Corp. $29 – New York symbol LNT

ALLIANT ENERGY CORP. $29 (New York symbol LNT; WSSF Rating: Average) provides electricity and gas to over 1.4 million customers in four Midwest states.

The company is currently simplifying its operations as part of a broad restructuring plan. In 2005, Alliant sold its 41% interest in a Wisconsin nuclear power plant for $78.5 million. Alliant also agreed to sell its 70% stake in an Iowa nuclear power plant and related assets for $387 million.

The company is also selling its money-losing overseas power plants. It will use the cash to pay down its $2.1 billion in long-term debt, (or 0.8 times equity).

Thanks to these moves, Alliant’s earnings from continuing operations in the three months ended September 30, 2005 rose 6.3%, to $0.85 a share (total $99.6 million) from $0.80 a share ($92.4 million) a year earlier. If you exclude one-time items, per-share profit jumped 48.1%, to $1.20 from $0.81. Revenue rose 26.0%, to $874.2 million from $693.6 million.

Alliant’s stock now trades at 14.2 times its likely 2005 profit of $2.04 a share. But the stock will probably make little progress until it completes its restructuring. The $1.05 dividend yields 3.6%.

Alliant Energy is a hold.

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