SCANA earnings fall 12 percent

Higher costs at South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. and weaker results at its Georgia natural gas business combined to drive Scana down by 12 percent.

The company, which is holdings its annual meeting in Charleston Thursday, reported that net income declined to $86 million, or 73 cents per share, from $98 million, or 85 cents per share, a year earlier.

But SCANA reaffirmed its earnings forecast of $2.70 to $2.85 per share. for 2007. That compares with 2006 earnings of $2.68 per share and analysts' consensus estimate of $2.79, according to Thomson Financial.