From: Reuters
Published January 28, 2008 08:04 AM

FPL quarterly profit falls 16 percent

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Utility FPL Group Inc <FPL.N>, the largest U.S. wind power company, posted a 16 percent drop in fourth-quarter earnings, hit by losses from trading in energy markets.

Net income fell to $224 million, or 56 cents per share, from $268 million, or 67 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding a $58 million loss in the market value of its trading contracts, the company earned $282 million, or 71 cents per share, compared with $254 million, or 63 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts had, on average, expected the company to post earnings of 67 cents per share.

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Operating revenue for the quarter was $3.68 billion, up from $3.62 billion a year ago.

FPL said it expects 2008 full-year adjusted earnings per share to be between $3.83 and $3.93, and 2009 earnings per share of $4.15 to $4.35.

Analysts' have forecast earnings per share of $3.88 for 2008 and $4.25 for 2009, according to Reuters Estimates.

FPL serves more than 4.4 million utility customers in Florida and has about 34,000 megawatts of generation. Its unregulated merchant arm, FPL Energy, generates more than 4,000 megawatts of wind energy, or enough to provide electricity to more than 1 million homes.

(Reporting by Matt Daily, editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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