National Grid Gains as Higher Rates Seen in U.S. Unit

National Grid Plc rose to a six-month high as the U.K. utility posted earnings that beat analyst estimates.

Adjusted pretax profit rose 13 percent to 3.56 billion pounds ($4.6 billion) in the year through March, the London-based utility said in a statement. That was 1.7 percent higher than the average estimate of analysts compiled by Bloomberg.

National Grid is adapting its networks to the rise of renewables, building interconnectors and installing rooftop solar in the U.S. In December, it agreed to sell a majority of its U.K. natural gas distribution business to focus of areas with better growth prospects.

The company said the financial performance of its U.S. business is expected to improve, “benefiting from a full year of new rates in our downstate New York gas and Massachusetts Electric businesses.”

National Grid rose as much as 0.8 percent to 1,069 pence, the highest since Nov. 1, as the U.K. FTSE-100 benchmark index fell. The stock has climbed 12 percent this year, compared with an 8.1 percent gain in the Stoxx 600 Utilities index.

The final dividend per share was 29.1 pence for full-year payout of 44.27 pence. The adjusted earnings per share were 73 pence versus an average estimate of 68 pence.

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