AEP to miss earnings estimate because of mild Texas weather

Thursday, July 18th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ American Electric Power, the parent company of Tulsa, Okla.-based Public Service Co. of Oklahoma, said that its earnings for the second quarter will be about 30 percent lower than expected because of mild weather in Texas.

AEP stock slid 8 percent on the news, falling $2.66 to $31.79 in trading Thursday morning on the New York Stock Exchange.

AEP said it expects earnings, excluding one-time charges, to miss the current estimates of 77 cents per share by 20 cents to 25 cents.

``Our business in Texas had a surprising turnaround in June because of mild weather and lower utilization of our generation in the state,'' E. Linn Draper Jr., AEP's chairman, president and chief executive, said in a statement. ``The lower utilization of our plants combined with high natural gas prices in June to squeeze margins.''

The company also blamed weakening wholesale power prices in the United Kingdom.

The United States' largest power generator said it now expects earnings for the year to be about 10 percent below estimates of $3.60 to $3.75 per share.

Despite the shortfall, the company did say it will recommend that the board keep the dividend of 60 cents per share for the quarter.

On July 25, the company will reports its earnings for the quarter that ended June 30.