Aquila second quarter earnings jump 367%

By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Aug. 8, 2001 – Energy merchant Aquila Inc. said second quarter net income rose 367% to $101.3 million, or $1.05/share, compared to the same quarter a year ago.

The Kansas City, Mo., company reported 2000 second-quarter net income of $21.7 million, or 25-/share. Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) were up 366%, compared to a year earlier. Second-quarter sales nearly doubled from $5.3 billion last year to $9.9 billion in 2001.

First-half earnings per share in 2001 were $1.65 compared to 38-/share in last year’s first half and $1.14 for all of 2000.

Analysts were expecting earnings $1.05/share, according to market research firm Thomson Financial/First Call. UtiliCorp United Inc. owns about 80% of Aquila.

The company attributed the increase in profits to strength in the wholesale, client, and capacity services segments of its business. It said favorable market conditions and “outstanding execution” conditions were key factors in the higher earnings from commodity services, which had EBIT in the 2001 quarter of $116.2 million, compared to $8.4 million in last year’s second quarter.

Demand for risk management and other structured products was up 21% in the second quarter over the prior year’s comparable period, Aquila said. In addition, the December 2000 acquisition of interests in six power plants from GPU International, a unit of GPU Inc., continues to exceed expectations, the company said, with prices at above current market rates.

Aquila CEO Keith Stamm said second quarter results validate the company’s strategy and demonstrate “strong demand for our products in the marketplace.”

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