AEP raises 2005 earnings outlook

Tuesday, December 20th 2005, 10:38 am
By: News On 6

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ American Electric Power Co., the nation's largest power generator, said on Tuesday that it is increasing its earnings forecast for 2005, citing higher wholesale sales of power and cold December temperatures.

AEP said its projected full-year earnings of between $2.65 and $2.75 per share _ up from a previous forecast of between $2.55 and $2.65 per share.

``The very favorable weather conditions and excellent utility performance that we experienced in the third quarter have continued,'' said Michael Morris, AEP's chairman, president and chief executive. ``Cold temperatures in December have translated into increased demand and strong sales to our utility customers.''

The Columbus-based company also reiterated its forecast for 2006, projecting earnings between $2.50 and $2.70 per share.

AEP owns more than 36,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States, with more than 5 million customers linked to the company's 11-state electricity transmission and distribution grid.

Among the cities in Texas served by AEP are Corpus Christi, Abilene, McAllen, Harlingen, San Angelo, Vernon, Victoria and Laredo.