AEP Sees Electrifying Profits

AEP posts a 12% jump in quarterly profit due to higher rates in four states.
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American Electric Power

(AEP) - Get Report

is receiving a charge from four states.

Higher rates in Virginia, Indiana, Oklahoma and Ohio -- as well as the new ability to recover fuel costs in Ohio -- helped drive profit higher in the quarter, resulting in a 12% uptick.

During the quarter, the company earned $316 million, or 67 cents a share, compared with $282 million, or 70 cents, in the year-ago period. Earnings per share were diluted because the company issued new stock in the first quarter.

Excluding one-time charges, AEP earned $321 million, or 68 cents a share, compared with $280 million, or 70 cents, in the year-ago period. Analysts expected a profit of 61 cents.

But the effect of the weak economy are still clear, according to CEO Michael Morris. Revenue slipped to $3.2 billion from $3.5 billion last year, as demand for electricity from industrial customers such as auto plants and steelmakers fell because of the recession. Sales to commercial and residential customers have been about flat.

Despite these tough economic times, AEP reaffirmed its full-year guidance in the range of $2.75 to $3.05 a share.

Shares of the company rose 1.5% to $31.13 in afternoon trading.


Duke Energy

(DUK) - Get Report

will report its second-quarter earnings on Aug. 4.

--Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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