By the OGJ Online Staff
HOUSTON, Jan. 8, 2002 — Utility holding company Entergy Corp. Tuesday reported it expects fourth quarter 2001 operational earnings to be about 20% higher than consensus estimates of 13-/share.
Earnings for the quarter should be about 16-/share, above the 13 cents expected by analysts polled by research firm First Call/Thomson Financial, Entergy said.
The New Orleans, La.-based company also said it will take a net charge of not more than 10-/share for various special items in the fourth quarter. The stock opened down 0.03% Tuesday or 1-/share at $39.30.
Entergy said the special items will include a reduction in earnings to reflect the planned divestment of its Latin American investments, and an increase in earnings to reflect accounting changes. The company will record a special item for the cumulative effect of marking to market its long-term gas purchase contract at the Damhead Creek power plant in the UK.
Entergy noted that it expects Entergy Nuclear to turn in solid results in the 2001 fourth quarter, compared to the fourth quarter of 2000 due to a full quarter contribution from the Indian Point 2 and 3 nuclear plants in Buchanan, NY and the FitzPatrick nuclear plant in Lycoming, NY.
Energy Commodity Services, which includes Entergy-Koch and Entergy Wholesale Operations, is expected to contribute improved trading and pipeline results compared to the same period in 2000, partially offset by losses at Entergy Wholesale Operations due to weak power prices and ongoing operating costs.
Results at US Utility, and others are expected to be modestly lower compared to fourth quarter 2000 due to lower sales volume and higher interest expense. Entergy said operational earnings, including weather for the full year 2001, will be slightly above the previously issued guidance range of $3.10-$3.20/share.
Entergy reaffirmed operational earnings guidance of $3.30-$3.50/share for 2002.