reported fourth-quarter earnings that powered past analysts' expectations and projected 35% to 40% earnings-per-share growth for 2001.
The Pittsburgh-based energy company said that, excluding special items, it earned $39.6 million, or $1.19 a share, compared with $26.4 million, or 79 cents a share, in the same period last year. Analysts, on average, expected fourth-quarter earnings of $1.10 a share, according to
First Call/Thomson Financial
Revenue for the quarter was $152.3 million, compared with $122.3 million last year.
The company also said it was "optimistic" about earnings potential for the year ahead, and targeted 2001 earnings-per-share growth of 35% to 40% over the 2000 full-year figure of $3.44. Ten analysts surveyed by First Call expect 2001 earnings of $4.38 a share, a 27% increase.
Shares of Equitable were lately up 85 cents, or $1.42, to $60.50 in morning trading on the
New York Stock Exchange