The Novi power grid manager ITC Holdings Corp. (NYSE: ITC) reported fourth quarter net income of $36.8 million or 71 cents a share, up from $33.6 million or 66 cents a share a year earlier.

For the full year, net income was $145.7 million or $2.84 a share, up from $130.9 million or $2.58 a share a year earlier.

The company said it made $454.6 million in capital investments for the year, and reaffirmed its guidance that it planned capital investment of between $560 million or $640 million in 2011.

And the company reaffirmed its full year 2011 earnings guidance of between $3.20 and $3.30 a share.

Revenue for the quarter was $189.1 million for the quarter, up from $156.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. For the full year, revenue was $696.8 million, up from $621 million in 2009.

Said Joseph L. Welch, chairman, president and CEO of ITC: “We made substantial progress during 2010 in furthering our strategy and delivering on the commitments to both our customers and shareholders outlined in our five-year plan. Perhaps more importantly, we also made great strides in better positioning the company for continued successful execution of our strategic plan, which we expect will provide for long-term, sustainable growth in our business.”  

Results for the year-end 2009 period include $0.12 per diluted common share associated with the recognition of regulatory assets at ITC Great Plains; 2010 results do not include the recognition of any such regulatory assets. 

In addition to this item, other key drivers that contributed to year-over-year variances include:

* Fourth quarter and full year net income results increased due to higher rate base at all operating companies.
* An increase in net income for the quarter and year-end period due to a lower consolidated effective income tax rate.
* Increases in net income for the fourth quarter were partially offset by higher non-recoverable expenses.
* Increases in net income for the fourth quarter and year-end periods were partially offset by higher interest expense resulting from our financing activities for ITC Holdings which were completed in late 2009.

General and administrative expenses of $24.7 million were $5.1 million higher during the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to the same period in 2009. This increase was due in part to personnel additions, and higher professional advisory and consulting services. These increases were partially offset by lower general business expenses. G&A expenses for the fourth quarter of 2010 include a one-time, non-recoverable charge of $2.3 million associated with the organizational changes the company implemented in January 2011. 

The effective income tax rate for the fourth quarter of 2010 was 34.1 percent compared to 36.4 percent the same period last year.

To listen in on a replay of a conference call discussing the results, visit, or call (800) 642-1687 in the United States or (706) 645-9291 elsewhere, using passcode 41929558.

The largest independent electricity transmission company in the country, ITC currently operates high-voltage transmission systems and assets in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and portions of Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas, serving a combined peak load in excess of 25,000 megawatts through its regulated operating subsidiaries, ITCTransmission, Michigan Electric Transmission Co., ITC Midwest and ITC Great Plains. ITC also focuses on further expansion in areas where significant transmission system improvements are needed through ITC Grid Development and its subsidiaries.

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