FirstEnergy first quarter 2009 basic earnings per share were $1.02 ($1.01 diluted) on a non-GAAP basis.
These results exclude the impact of regulatory charges associated with implementing the Ohio Electric Security Plan, and other special items, described below. This compares to first quarter 2008 non-GAAP basic earnings per share of $0.88 ($0.87 diluted).
On a GAAP basis, first quarter net income was $115 million, or basic and diluted earnings of $0.39 per share of common stock, on revenue of $3.33 billion. First quarter 2008 net income was $277 million, or basic earnings of $0.91 per share of common stock ($0.90 diluted), on revenue of $3.28 billion.
“While we achieved solid financial and operational results during the first quarter, we continue to face significant challenges related to the slowing economy throughout our region and its effect on electricity sales,” said Anthony J. Alexander, president and chief executive officer of FirstEnergy. “We will need to remain focused on execution for the remainder of 2009 in order to address issues related to planned generating outages, environmental spending at our Sammis Plant, and our participation in the competitive bidding process in Ohio.”
First quarter 2009 results benefited from higher average generation prices compared to the 2008 period. Results were also driven by higher revenues related to increased wholesale sales, lower financing costs, lower fuel costs, and a lower effective income tax rate compared to the first quarter of 2008. Results were negatively affected by higher purchased power costs, increased costs related to pension and other post-employment benefits as a result of the downturn in financial markets, higher depreciation expense, and the end of transition cost recovery for Ohio Edison and Toledo Edison.
First quarter 2009 total electric generation sales decreased 2.8 percent compared to the 2008 period. Sales to the wholesale market increased 9.9 percent for the quarter, while retail sales were down 5.3 percent. Total distribution deliveries decreased 6.7 percent in the quarter, primarily due to lower demand from industrial customers.
FirstEnergy is a diversified energy company headquartered in Akron, Ohio. Its subsidiaries and affiliates are involved in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, as well as energy management and other energy-related services. Its seven electric utility operating companies comprise the nation’s fifth largest investor-owned electric system, based on 4.5 million customers served within a 36,100-square-mile area of Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey; and its generation subsidiaries control more than 14,000 megawatts of capacity.