Mild weather, weak economy contributes to AEP earnings drop

Wednesday, April 24th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ American Electric Power reported on Wednesday that its first-quarter earnings fell 16 percent because of the recession and a mild winter that kept energy demand low.

The Columbus-based utility said it made $189.4 million for the quarter that ended March 31, or 59 cents a share, compared with $226.3 million, or 71 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenue fell 5 percent to $13.5 billion from $14.2 billion.

The per share earnings were in line with expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call.

E. Linn Draper Jr., the company's chairman, said low energy demand in the quarter dropped wholesale energy prices and margins in part because of the recession.

AEP owns and operates more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States and in select international markets.

The company serves customers in Ohio and 10 other states: Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.