DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Utility company Allete Inc.’s second-quarter net income dropped 12 percent, hurt by higher expenses.

The company said Friday that it earned $17 million, or 48 cents per share, for the quarter. That’s down from $19.4 million, or 57 cents per share, during the same period a year earlier.

Still, Allete’s earnings topped the 47 cents per share that analysts expected on average, according to a FactSet poll.

Allete said that an increase in the number of shares outstanding lowered its earnings by 2 cents per share.

Operating and maintenance expenses for the regulated operations unit increased by $7.9 million mostly because of scheduled maintenance projects at Minnesota Power’s generating stations.

Depreciation and interest expenses rose because of recent investments in environmental improvements, renewable energy production and transmission assets.

Revenue for the period ended June 30 climbed 4 percent to $219.9 million from $211.2 million. Wall Street expected higher revenue of $222 million.

Allete forecasts full-year adjusted earnings between $2.40 and $2.60 per share. The Duluth, Minn. company said it is in “great position” to meet the outlook. Analysts predict $2.50 per share.

Allete’s shares shed 16 cents to $40.49 in midday trading.

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