American Electric Power

(AEP) - Get Report

reported earnings ahead of Wall Street's expectations for the fourth quarter.

The energy company said it earned $158 million, or 49 cents a share, just above the $154 million, or 48 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Six analysts polled by

First Call/Thomson Financial

were expecting the company to earn 42 cents in the quarter.

Total revenue increased to $3.59 billion from $3.01 billion in the same period last year.

In 2001, the company expects ongoing earnings to reach $3.40 to $3.50 a share. Analysts expect the company to earn $3.44 for 2001.

Shares of American Electric Power, which is based in Columbus, Ohio, gained 56 cents, or 1.4%, to $42.19 in recent

New York Stock Exchange

trading.