SOURCE: Cleco Corp.

Cleco Corp.

February 24, 2011 17:19 ET

Cleco Corp. Reports Full-Year 2010 Earnings of $255.3 Million

PINEVILLE, LA--(Marketwire - February 24, 2011) - Cleco Corp. (NYSE: CNL)

  • 2010 Operational Diluted Earnings Per Share of $2.26, Up 31% from 2009
  • 2011 Operational Earnings Guidance of $2.25 - $2.35 Per Diluted Share
  • 2011/2012 Dividend Guidance Provided Below

"Our 2010 operational earnings are up 31 percent compared to 2009 operational earnings primarily because we successfully completed major projects that have been under way for a long time," said Mike Madison, president and chief executive officer of Cleco Corp.

"At Cleco Power, we brought Madison Unit 3 online, acquired Acadia Unit 1 and implemented new retail rates, the first increase in base rates for Cleco Power in more than 20 years. These projects diversified our fuel mix and increased our generating capacity. In addition, we have aligned our rates with the current cost structure of the utility," Madison said.

"At Midstream, we made progress on our goals to reduce our risk in the wholesale energy business and maximize the value of our wholesale assets by completing the Acadia Unit 1 transaction with Cleco Power and entering into an interim power sales agreement with Entergy Louisiana for the remaining half of the plant, Acadia Unit 2, until our pending sale agreement with Entergy Louisiana is closed in March of this year. The Louisiana Public Service Commission approved Entergy Louisiana's purchase of Acadia Unit 2 in January of this year. Finally, at Midstream, we restructured our tolling agreement for Coughlin Power Station and extracted all of the remaining value in the toll. At the expiration of the tolling agreement, we will have a 775-megawatt unencumbered asset with attractive prospects based on today's marketplace," Madison said.

"Together, these projects have strengthened our company and put us on firm financial footing as we head into 2011," Madison said. "Our 2011 operational earnings guidance and our 2011/2012 dividend guidance reflect the continued growth we see in our business and underscore the confidence we have in the overall financial health of Cleco."

Earnings Guidance:

Cleco is targeting 2011 consolidated operational earnings in the range of $2.25 - $2.35 per diluted share. The 2011 consolidated operational earnings estimate assumes normal weather and excludes adjustments related to company- and trust-owned life insurance (COLI/TOLI) policies and the expected gain in the range of $0.53 - $0.59 per diluted share relating to the pending Acadia Unit 2 transaction. Please refer to "Operational Earnings Adjustments" in this news release for a description of such adjustments and for the impact of COLI/TOLI on the company's earnings per diluted share in 2010 and 2009.

Dividend Guidance:

The board of directors of Cleco Corp. intends to increase Cleco's quarterly dividend rate from $0.25 per common share to $0.28 per common share beginning with the dividend payable May 16, 2011. The 12 percent increase in the dividend, subject to the board's official declaration of the dividend in April, will result in an annual dividend rate of $1.12 per common share.

Additionally, the board has indicated its intention to further increase the quarterly dividend to $0.3125 per common share beginning with the dividend payable in May 2012. This additional 12 percent increase in the dividend, subject to the board's official declaration of the dividend in April 2012, will result in an annual dividend rate of $1.25 per common share.

"These planned dividend increases by our board of directors continue the progress started last year toward achieving our long-term goal of a dividend payout level in the range of 50 percent to 60 percent of our sustainable earnings," Madison said. "We're following through on our commitment to deliver competitive total returns to our shareholders upon the successful completion of major projects."

The declaration of dividend payments is at the board's sole discretion and future dividend increases are subject to numerous factors that ordinarily affect dividend policy, including the result of Cleco's operations and its financial position as well as general economic and business conditions.

   Consolidated Earnings - Reconciliation of GAAP to Non-GAAP Measures

                                                           Diluted Earnings
                                                               Per Share
                                                            --------------
                                                             Three months
                                                            ended Dec. 31
                                                            --------------
Subsidiary                                                   2010    2009
                                                            ------  ------
  Cleco Power LLC                                           $ 0.40  $ 0.35
  Cleco Midstream Resources LLC(1)                           (0.04)  (0.21)
  Corporate and Other(1),(2)                                 (0.02)   0.01
                                                            ------  ------
Operational diluted earnings per share (Non-GAAP)             0.34    0.15
  Adjustments(3)                                                 -    0.06
                                                            ------  ------
Diluted earnings per share applicable to common stock       $ 0.34  $ 0.21


GAAP refers to United States generally accepted accounting principles.

(1) Includes affiliate interest charges/interest income on affiliate debt
related to Cleco's investment in Acadia of $0.01 per share for the quarter
ended Dec. 31, 2009
(2) Includes dividends on preferred stock
(3) Refer to "Operational Earnings Adjustments" in this news release



   Consolidated Earnings - Reconciliation of GAAP to Non-GAAP Measures

                                                           Diluted Earnings
                                                               Per Share
                                                            --------------
                                                              Year ended
                                                                Dec. 31
                                                            --------------
Subsidiary                                                   2010    2009
                                                            ------  ------
  Cleco Power LLC                                           $ 2.42  $ 1.84
  Cleco Midstream Resources LLC(1) (excluding 2010 gains
   from the Evangeline and Acadia Unit 1 transactions)       (0.04)  (0.29)
  Corporate and Other(1),(2)                                 (0.12)   0.18
                                                            ------  ------
Operational diluted earnings per share (Non-GAAP)             2.26    1.73
  Adjustments(3)                                              1.94    0.03
                                                            ------  ------
Diluted earnings per share applicable to common stock       $ 4.20  $ 1.76

GAAP refers to United States generally accepted accounting principles.

(1) Includes affiliate interest charges/interest income on affiliate debt
related to Cleco's investment in Acadia ($0.01 per share and $0.05 per
share for the years ended Dec. 31, 2010, and 2009, respectively)
(2) Includes dividends on preferred stock
(3) Refer to "Operational Earnings Adjustments" in this news release

Financial Highlights:

Fourth Quarter 2010

  • Cleco reports fourth-quarter earnings applicable to common stock of $20.6 million, or $0.34 per diluted share, compared to $12.8 million, or $0.21 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2009.

Year-to-Date 2010

  • Cleco reports earnings applicable to common stock for 2010 of $255.3 million, or $4.20 per diluted share, compared to $106.3 million, or $1.76 per diluted share, for 2009.

Quarter-Over-Quarter Operational Earnings Per Share Reconciliation:

$ 0.15   2009 fourth-quarter diluted operational earnings per share

  0.59   Non-fuel revenue, net of rate refund accrual
  0.01   Income taxes
 (0.16)  Other expenses, net
 (0.39)  AFUDC (allowance for funds used during construction)
------
$ 0.05   Cleco Power results

  0.17   Cleco Midstream results

 (0.03)  Corporate results
------
$ 0.34   2010 fourth-quarter diluted operational earnings per share

     -   Adjustments(1)
------

$ 0.34   Reported GAAP diluted earnings per share

(1) Refer to "Operational Earnings Adjustments" in this news release

Cleco Power

  • Non-fuel revenue, net of rate refund accrual, increased earnings by $0.59 per share compared to the fourth quarter of 2009. The impact of the retail base rate increases that became effective in February 2010, which included Madison Unit 3 and Acadia Unit 1, contributed approximately $0.55 per share, while the impact from weather contributed approximately $0.06 per share. Higher transmission revenue and customer forfeited discounts also contributed $0.01 per share. These increases were partially offset by $0.03 per share as a result of recording an estimated accrual for a rate refund.

  • Income taxes increased earnings by $0.01 per share compared to the fourth quarter of 2009 primarily due to miscellaneous tax items.

  • Other expenses, net, were $0.16 per share higher compared to the fourth quarter of 2009 primarily due to $0.10 per share of higher operating and maintenance expenses and $0.08 per share of higher depreciation expense both primarily resulting from Madison Unit 3 being placed in service and the acquisition of Acadia Unit 1 both in the first quarter of 2010 and $0.03 per share of higher other miscellaneous expenses. These increases were partially offset by $0.02 per share of lower capacity payments made during the fourth quarter of 2010 primarily due to the commencement of commercial operations at Madison Unit 3 and the acquisition of Acadia Unit 1 in the first quarter of 2010 and $0.03 per share of lower interest charges.

  • AFUDC, primarily associated with the first quarter 2010 completion of Madison Unit 3, reduced earnings by $0.39 per share compared to the fourth quarter of 2009. The equity portion of AFUDC primarily associated with the Madison Unit 3 project decreased $0.32 per share, while the debt portion of AFUDC decreased $0.07 per share compared to the fourth quarter of 2009.

Cleco Midstream Resources

  • Evangeline's results increased earnings by $0.10 per share compared to the fourth quarter of 2009 primarily due to lower interest charges and lower maintenance expenses. These increases were partially offset by lower tolling revenue due to the Evangeline restructuring and pricing of the new tolling agreement.

  • Acadia's results increased earnings by $0.07 per share compared to the fourth quarter of 2009 primarily due to the absence of removal and retirement costs and lower turbine and general maintenance expenses.

Corporate and Other

  • Higher interest charges decreased earnings by $0.08 per share compared to the fourth quarter of 2009 primarily due to $0.07 per share of net interest charges related to uncertain tax positions and $0.01 per share related to a bank term loan executed in February 2010.

  • Lower income taxes increased earnings by $0.03 per share compared to the fourth quarter of 2009 as a result of a $0.04 per share decrease in tax expense to reflect tax expense at the consolidated annual effective tax rate. This increase was partially offset by $0.01 per share for miscellaneous tax items.

  • Lower other miscellaneous expenses increased earnings by $0.02 per share compared to the fourth quarter of 2009.

Year-Over-Year Operational Earnings Per Share Reconciliation:

$ 1.73   Year ended Dec. 31, 2009, diluted operational earnings per share

  2.39   Non-fuel revenue, net of rate refund accrual
  0.01   Energy hedging, net
  0.01   Income taxes
 (0.61)  Other expenses, net
 (1.22)  AFUDC
------
$ 0.58   Cleco Power results

  0.25   Cleco Midstream results

 (0.30)  Corporate results
------

$ 2.26   Year ended Dec. 31, 2010, diluted operational earnings per share

  1.94   Adjustments(1)
------

$ 4.20   Reported GAAP diluted earnings per share

(1) Refer to "Operational Earnings Adjustments" in this news release

Cleco Power

  • Non-fuel revenue, net of rate refund accrual, increased earnings by $2.39 per share in the year-to-year comparison. The impact of the retail base rate increases that became effective in February 2010, which included Madison Unit 3 and Acadia Unit 1, contributed approximately $2.12 per share. The impact from favorable weather was approximately $0.17 per share, while the impact from new service to a wholesale customer was approximately $0.12 per share. Mineral lease payments, higher transmission revenue, and higher customer forfeited discounts contributed $0.08 per share. These increases were partially offset by $0.10 per share as a result of recording an estimated accrual for a rate refund.

  • Favorable results from energy hedging positions tied to a fixed-price wholesale contract increased earnings by $0.01 per share year over year.

  • Income taxes increased earnings by $0.01 per share year over year due to $0.05 per share related to the implementation of new retail rates and $0.01 per share for miscellaneous tax items. These increases were partially offset by $0.03 per share for Medicare Part D resulting from health care legislation enacted in the first quarter of 2010 and $0.02 per share for the tax impact of a valuation allowance for capital loss carryforwards.

  • Other expenses, net, were $0.61 per share higher compared to 2009 primarily due to $0.29 per share of higher depreciation expense resulting from Madison Unit 3 being placed in service and the acquisition of Acadia Unit 1 both in the first quarter of 2010, along with $0.37 per share of higher operating and maintenance expenses. Also contributing to the increase was $0.03 per share of higher payroll and state franchise taxes and $0.06 per share of higher other net miscellaneous expenses. These increases were partially offset by $0.14 per share of lower capacity payments, primarily resulting from Madison Unit 3 being placed in service and the acquisition of Acadia Unit 1, which resulted in less capacity purchased from third parties.

  • AFUDC, primarily associated with the first quarter 2010 completion of the Madison Unit 3 project, reduced earnings by $1.22 per share compared to 2009. The equity portion of AFUDC primarily associated with the Madison Unit 3 project decreased earnings by $1.00 per share, while the debt portion of AFUDC decreased earnings by $0.22 per share compared to 2009.

Cleco Midstream Resources

  • Acadia's results increased earnings by $0.26 per share year over year primarily due to lower removal and asset retirement costs, lower depreciation expense resulting from certain Acadia assets meeting the criteria of assets held for sale, the contractual expiration of an underlying indemnification related to the sale of Acadia Unit 1, lower legal fees and lower interest charges.

  • Evangeline's results were comparable to the same period last year. Tolling revenue was lower as a result of the Evangeline restructuring and pricing of the new tolling agreement. However, this decrease was offset by lower interest charges as a result of the payoff of Evangeline's debt and lower maintenance expenses resulting from the absence of a 2009 outage.

  • Higher other expenses at Midstream decreased results by $0.01 per share year over year.

For a discussion of other transactions affecting the results of Cleco Midstream, please refer to "Operational Earnings Adjustments -- Gains from Evangeline and Acadia Unit 1 Transactions" below.

Corporate and Other

  • Higher income taxes decreased earnings by $0.02 per share compared to 2009 due to $0.01 per share for Medicare Part D resulting from health care legislation enacted in the first quarter of 2010 and $0.01 per share for miscellaneous tax items.

  • Higher interest charges decreased earnings by $0.20 per share compared to 2009 primarily due to $0.13 per share of net interest charges related to uncertain tax positions, $0.03 per share related to the absence of a 2009 favorable settlement of a franchise tax lawsuit and $0.04 per share related to a bank term loan executed in February 2010.

  • Higher other miscellaneous expenses decreased earnings by $0.08 per share compared to last year primarily due to $0.05 per share of lower interest income, $0.02 per share from the absence of adjustments related to amended franchise tax returns filed in 2009, and $0.01 per share from other net miscellaneous expenses.

Operational Earnings Adjustments:

Cleco's management uses operational earnings per share to evaluate the operations of Cleco and to establish goals for management and employees. Management believes this presentation is appropriate and enables investors to more accurately compare Cleco's operational financial performance over the periods presented. Operational earnings as presented here may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other companies. The following table provides a reconciliation of operational earnings per share to reported GAAP earnings per share.

       Reconciliation of Operational Earnings Per Share to Reported
                      GAAP Diluted Earnings Per Share

                                                          Diluted Earnings
                                                              Per Share
                                                          -----------------
                                                            Three months
                                                            ended Dec. 31
                                                          -----------------
                                                            2010     2009
                                                          -------  --------
Operational earnings per share                            $  0.34  $   0.15
  Company- and trust-owned life insurance policy
   adjustments                                               0.01      0.01
  Tax levelization                                          (0.01)     0.05
                                                          -------  --------
Reported GAAP diluted earnings per share applicable to
 common stock                                             $  0.34  $   0.21


                                                          Diluted Earnings
                                                              Per Share
                                                          -----------------
                                                             Year ended
                                                               Dec. 31
                                                          -----------------
                                                            2010     2009
                                                          -------  --------
Operational earnings per share                            $  2.26  $   1.73
  Company- and trust-owned life insurance policy
   adjustments                                               0.02      0.03
  Gain from Evangeline transaction                           1.51         -
  Gain from Acadia Unit 1 transaction                        0.41         -
                                                          -------  --------
Reported GAAP diluted earnings per share applicable to
 common stock                                             $  4.20  $   1.76

Reconciling adjustments from operational earnings per share to GAAP diluted earnings per share are as follows:

COLI/TOLI Adjustments

Cleco has both Company-Owned Life Insurance and Trust-Owned Life Insurance policies covering certain members of management. These policies are payable to Cleco upon death of the insured. COLI/TOLI assets are acquired at fair value and adjusted for changes in market value and any payments/redemptions of cash surrender values. The resulting adjustments for these items increased earnings by $0.01 per share for the fourth quarters of 2010 and 2009. These adjustments increased earnings by $0.02 per share for 2010 and increased earnings by $0.03 per share for 2009. Cleco is unable to predict changes in the market values and amounts of cash surrender values of these policies and management does not consider these adjustments to be a component of operational earnings.

Tax Levelization

Generally accepted accounting principles require companies to apply an effective tax rate to interim periods that is consistent with a company's estimated annual effective tax rate. As a result, quarterly, Cleco projects the annual effective tax rate and then adjusts the tax expense recorded in that quarter to reflect the projected annual effective tax rate. During the fourth quarters of 2010 and 2009, Cleco recorded a $0.01 per share expense and a $0.05 per share benefit, respectively, from the levelization of its annual tax rate to bring the actual tax rate in line with the projected annual effective tax rate. The incremental adjustment for tax levelization is not related to operational earnings because it reflects the effect of the change in tax rates on operational earnings for the entire year.

Gains from Evangeline and Acadia Unit 1 Transactions

On Feb. 22, 2010, the existing Evangeline tolling agreement was terminated and a new tolling agreement was executed with the same counterparty resulting in the recognition of a gain of $1.51 per share for 2010. On Feb. 23, 2010, Cleco Power's acquisition of Acadia Unit 1 and half of Acadia Power Station's common facilities was completed resulting in the recognition of a gain of $0.41 per share for 2010. Because these are one-time gains, management does not consider these adjustments to be components of operational earnings.

Cleco management will discuss the company's fourth-quarter and full year 2010 results during a conference call scheduled for 11 a.m. Eastern time (10 a.m. Central time) Friday, Feb. 25, 2011. The call will be webcast live on the Internet. A replay will be available for 12 months. Investors may access the webcast through the company's Web site at www.cleco.com by selecting "Investor Relations" and then "Q4 2010 Cleco Corp. Earnings Conference Call."

Cleco Corp. is a regional energy company headquartered in Pineville, La. It operates a regulated electric utility company, Cleco Power LLC, which serves about 279,000 retail customers across Louisiana. Cleco also operates a wholesale energy business, Cleco Midstream Resources LLC, which includes the pending sale of Acadia Unit 2. For more information about Cleco, visit www.cleco.com.

                               For the three months ended Dec. 31
                       --------------------------------------------------
(Unaudited)                (million kWh)              (thousands)
                       --------------------------------------------------
                        2010  2009   Change      2010      2009    Change
                       ----- -----  -------    --------  --------  ------
Electric Sales
  Residential            822   823     (0.1)%  $ 62,970  $ 35,186    79.0 %
  Commercial             614   602      2.0 %    43,142    23,582    82.9 %
  Industrial             592   599     (1.2)%    22,385    12,911    73.4 %
  Other retail            33    34     (2.9)%     2,458     1,426    72.4 %
  Surcharge                -     -        -       1,683     4,987   (66.3)%
  Other                    -     -        -      (1,621)        -       -
                       ----- -----             --------  --------
    Total retail       2,061 2,058      0.1 %   131,017    78,092    67.8 %
  Sales for resale       223   128     74.2 %    13,755     7,337    87.5 %
  Unbilled                45   (38)   218.4 %      (684)   (1,275)   46.4 %
                       ----- -----             --------  --------
Total retail and
 wholesale customer
 sales                 2,329 2,148      8.4 %  $144,088  $ 84,154    71.2 %


                                  For the year ended Dec. 31
                       --------------------------------------------------
(Unaudited)                (million kWh)              (thousands)
                       --------------------------------------------------
                        2010  2009   Change      2010      2009    Change
                       ----- -----  -------    --------  --------  ------
Electric Sales

  Residential          3,978 3,637      9.4 %  $271,781  $157,672    72.4 %
  Commercial           2,605 2,484      4.9 %   160,039    95,453    67.7 %
  Industrial           2,271 2,232      1.7 %    78,158    50,957    53.4 %
  Other retail           138   136      1.5 %     9,186     5,715    60.7 %
  Surcharge                -     -        -       8,888    19,661   (54.8)%
  Other                    -     -        -      (6,005)        -       -
                       ----- -----             --------  --------
    Total retail       8,992 8,489      5.9 %   522,047   329,458    58.5 %
  Sales for resale       807   560     44.1 %    47,954    23,371   105.2 %
  Unbilled                46    60    (23.3)%    22,675     2,262   902.4 %
                       ----- -----             --------  --------
Total retail and
 wholesale customer
 sales                 9,845 9,109      8.1 %  $592,676  $355,091    66.9 %






                                CLECO CORP.
                     CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
                       (Thousands, except share and
                            per share amounts)
                                (Unaudited)

For the three months ended Dec. 31                     2010        2009
                                                    ----------  ----------
Operating revenue
  Electric operations                               $  246,574  $  181,178
  Tolling operations                                     3,052           -
  Other operations                                      10,105       7,971
  Affiliate revenue                                        137       2,947
                                                    ----------  ----------
    Gross operating revenue                            259,868     192,096
      Electric customer credits                         (3,282)          -
                                                    ----------  ----------
    Operating revenue, net                             256,586     192,096
Operating expenses
  Fuel used for electric generation                     86,823      48,243
  Power purchased for utility customers                 17,459      52,697
  Other operations                                      32,731      31,497
  Maintenance                                           22,396      15,523
  Depreciation                                          29,304      19,971
  Taxes other than income taxes                          8,136       7,135
  Loss on sales of assets                                  375           -
                                                    ----------  ----------
    Total operating expenses                           197,224     175,066
                                                    ----------  ----------
Operating income                                        59,362      17,030
Interest income                                             40         461
Allowance for other funds used during construction       1,361      20,928
Equity loss from investees                                (363)    (18,134)
Other income                                             1,678         827
Other expense                                           (2,611)       (626)
Interest charges
  Interest charges, including amortization of debt
   expenses, premium, and discount, net of
   capitalized interest                                 24,265      18,401
  Allowance for borrowed funds used during
   construction                                           (510)     (7,016)
                                                    ----------  ----------
    Total interest charges                              23,755      11,385
                                                    ----------  ----------
Income before income taxes                              35,712       9,101
Federal and state income tax expense (benefit)          15,087      (3,678)
                                                    ----------  ----------
Net income                                              20,625      12,779
Preferred dividends requirements, net of tax                12          12
                                                    ----------  ----------
Net income applicable to common stock               $   20,613  $   12,767
                                                    ==========  ==========


Average shares of common stock outstanding
  Basic                                             60,511,692  60,254,541
  Diluted                                           60,892,646  60,622,385
Basic earnings per share
  Net income applicable to common stock             $     0.34  $     0.21
Diluted earnings per share
  Net income applicable to common stock             $     0.34  $     0.21
Cash dividends paid per share of common stock       $    0.250  $    0.225





                                CLECO CORP.
                     CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
                       (Thousands, except share and
                            per share amounts)
                                (Unaudited)

For the year ended Dec. 31                            2010         2009
                                                  -----------  -----------
Operating revenue
  Electric operations                             $ 1,086,102  $   808,646
  Tolling operations                                   26,067            -
  Other operations                                     44,529       33,651
  Affiliate revenue                                     1,564       11,461
                                                  -----------  -----------
    Gross operating revenue                         1,158,262      853,758
Electric customer credits                              (9,596)           -
                                                  -----------  -----------
    Operating revenue, net                          1,148,666      853,758
                                                  -----------  -----------
Operating expenses
  Fuel used for electric generation                   363,550      261,456
  Power purchased for utility customers               141,864      216,906
  Other operations                                    119,516      109,060
  Maintenance                                          81,228       51,300
  Depreciation                                        112,203       78,204
  Taxes other than income taxes                        34,626       29,947
    Loss on sales of assets                               338           76
                                                  -----------  -----------
    Total operating expenses                          853,325      746,949
                                                  -----------  -----------
Operating income                                      295,341      106,809
Interest income                                           409        1,512
Allowance for other funds used during
 construction                                          12,413       73,269
Equity income (loss) from investees                    38,849      (17,423)
Gain on toll settlement                               148,402            -
Other income                                            5,242        5,581
Other expense                                          (6,991)      (2,807)
Interest charges
    Interest charges, including amortization of
     debt expenses, premium, and discount, net of
     capitalized interest                             100,339       77,228
    Allowance for borrowed funds used during
     construction                                      (4,563)     (26,173)
                                                  -----------  -----------
    Total interest charges                             95,776       51,055
                                                  -----------  -----------
Income before income taxes                            397,889      115,886
Federal and state income tax expense                  142,498        9,579
                                                  -----------  -----------
Net income                                            255,391      106,307
Preferred dividends requirements, net of tax               46           46
                                                  -----------  -----------
Net income applicable to common stock             $   255,345  $   106,261
                                                  ===========  ===========
Average shares of common stock outstanding
  Basic                                            60,431,142   60,187,894
  Diluted                                          60,754,589   60,498,205
Basic earnings per share
  Net income applicable to common stock           $      4.23  $      1.77
Diluted earnings per share
  Net income applicable to common stock           $      4.20  $      1.76
  Cash dividends paid per share of common stock   $     0.975  $     0.900




                                CLECO CORP.
                        CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
                                (Thousands)
                                (Unaudited)

                                                  At Dec. 31,  At Dec. 31,
                                                      2010         2009
                                                  -----------  -----------
Assets
    Current Assets
    Cash and cash equivalents                     $   191,128  $   145,193
    Accounts receivable, net                           92,197       70,557
    Other current assets                              325,525      278,175
                                                  -----------  -----------
Total Current Assets                                  608,850      493,925
Property, plant and equipment, net                  2,784,225    2,247,030
Equity investment in investees                         86,732      251,617
Prepayments, deferred charges and other               681,603      702,275
                                                  -----------  -----------
    Total Assets                                  $ 4,161,410  $ 3,694,847
                                                  -----------  -----------
Liabilities
Current Liabilities
    Short-term debt                               $   150,000  $         -
    Long-term debt due within one year                 12,269       11,478
    Accounts payable                                  125,923      114,541
    Other current liabilities                         189,489      115,785
                                                  -----------  -----------
Total Current Liabilities                             477,681      241,804
Deferred credits                                      965,813    1,016,672
Long-term debt, net                                 1,399,709    1,320,299
                                                  -----------  -----------
    Total Liabilities                               2,843,203    2,578,775
                                                  -----------  -----------
Shareholders' Equity
    Preferred stock                                     1,029        1,029
    Common shareholders' equity                     1,328,816    1,126,334
    Accumulated other comprehensive loss              (11,638)     (11,291)
                                                  -----------  -----------
Total Shareholders' Equity                          1,318,207    1,116,072
                                                  -----------  -----------
    Total Liabilities and Shareholders' Equity    $ 4,161,410  $ 3,694,847
                                                  ===========  ===========

Please note: In addition to historical financial information, this news release contains forward-looking statements about future results and circumstances. There are many risks and uncertainties with respect to such forward-looking statements, including the weather and other natural phenomena, state and federal legislative and regulatory initiatives, the timing and extent of changes in commodity prices and interest rates, the operating performance of Cleco Power's and Cleco Midstream's facilities, the financial condition of the company's tolling agreement counterparty, the performance of the tolling agreement by such counterparty, the completion of the Acadiana Load Pocket project, the completion of the Acadia Unit 2/Entergy Louisiana transaction, the impact of the global economic environment, and other risks and uncertainties more fully described in the company's latest Annual Report on Form 10-K. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated in such forward-looking statements.

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