Entergy Beats Estimates on Nuclear Improvements

Global energy provider Entergy ( ETR) said its second-quarter operating profits were up 10% on stronger nuclear and utility business.

The company earned $241.7 million, or $1.06 a share, up from $238.9 million, or $1.06 a share, a year ago. Excluding charges relating to restructuring in its wholesale power business, Entergy earned $267.1 million, or $1.17 a share.

Analysts polled by tracking firm Thomson Financial/First Call had been looking for $1.14 a share on an operational basis.

The company said operating earnings at its utility business were $194.9 million, or 85 cents a share, up from $168.5 million, or 74 cents a share, a year ago, due primarily to higher revenue and increased sales volume. Higher electric use increased sales by 7%.

Entergy's nuclear division earned 24 cents a share, up from 15 cents a year ago on higher output levels and an absence of refueling outages. Also, results were boosted by the acquisition of Indian Point 2 in September 2001.

Looking ahead, the company reiterated its full-year guidance. "Through second-quarter 2002 we continued to achieve strong results despite daily negative revelations in our sector," Entergy said in a statement. "The first half of 2002 has been very positive and we are pleased to confirm our 2002 operational earnings per share guidance at the $3.40 to $3.60 range."

First Call analysts are expecting $3.53 a share for the year.

Shares of Entergy closed at $36.90 Monday before the earnings release.