OTTAWA, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Independent Canadian power producer Boralex Inc (BLX.TO) said on Thursday its fourth-quarter net profit fell 25 percent in comparison with the year-before quarter, when it recorded a big gain from sales of renewable energy certificates.
Boralex, which produces energy from wind, hydroelectric, and thermal sources, benefits from a growing U.S. market for electricity from renewable sources that is sold in certificates to companies that want to offset their greenhouse gas emissions.
For the quarter ended Dec. 31, Boralex said earnings declined to C$4.4 million ($3.52 million), or 12 Canadian cents a share, from C$5.9 million, or 15 Canadian cents a share, in the year-before quarter.
Excluding the impact of certificate sales, Boralex said profit in the most recent quarter jumped 38 percent.
Revenue increased 18 percent to C$54.3 million on higher selling prices, currency fluctuations, and production gains in its wood residue operations.
Analysts had expected, on average, earnings before exceptions of 18 Canadian cents a share and revenue of C$52 million, according to Thomson Reuters.
Shares in Boralex, which has 21 power stations in Quebec, northeastern United States and France, rose 3.3 percent, or 25 Canadian cents, to C$7.90 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday afternoon.
The company, which holds a 23 percent interest in Boralex Power Income Fund BPT_u.TO, said it is well positioned to pursue growth.
"Given the current economic context, Boralex will be very prudent in its choice of investment projects," Chief Executive Patrick Lemaire said in a statement. "We believe that the current situation could lead to business opportunities that we will be prepared to act on."
At the end of December, the Montreal-based company had C$69.2 million in cash and equivalents.
$1=$1.25 Canadian Reporting by Susan Taylor; Editing by Peter Galloway