AEP reports second-quarter earnings of $175 million

Wednesday, July 30th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ American Electric Power reported Wednesday that second quarter earnings for 2003 were $175.3 million, or 44 cents a share, more than double the same period in 2002 and beating Wall Street expectations.

The year-ago earnings of $61.9 million, or 19 cents per share, had been lowered by write-downs related to the sale of the SEEBOARD and CitiPower electric companies, AEP spokeswoman Melissa McHenry said.

The utility said it's on target to meet earnings expectations for the year despite cooler temperatures that reduced electricity demand.

For the first six months, the company reported earnings of $615.4 million, or $1.64 cents per share, compared with a loss last year of $107 million, or 33 cents per share.

Revenue for the quarter ended June 30 was $3.7 billion, up $100 million from the second quarter in 2002. For the first six months of 2003, revenue was $7.7 billion, compared with $6.6 billion in the same period last year.

Adjusted operating earnings, excluding special items, were $174.9 million for the quarter, down from $181.6 million for year-ago period.

Ongoing earnings per share dropped 12 cents to 44 cents per share from 56 cents per share last year, but were 4 cents higher than the consensus projected by analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call.

The ongoing earnings exclude a one-time $433,326 gain on the disposition of Nordic trading operations, the company said.

Weather, the economy and outages at AEP's Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant and the partially owned South Texas Project Nuclear Plant were key factors in the performance of AEP's utility operations, the company said. Utility earnings for the quarter were $225 million, down $12 million from 2002.

AEP Chairman E. Linn Draper Jr. said residential power demand was down because of extremely mild spring weather in the Midwest.

``We're also seeing continued pressure on industrial demand, evidence of a slower-than-expected economic recovery,'' said Draper.

AEP shares were up 3 cents late Wednesday morning at $27.79 on the New York Stock Exchange.

AEP has about 5 million customers in 11 states: Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.