Northeast Utilities Swings to Profit

Shares rise modestly.
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Northeast Utilities

(NU)

, a retail electric service provider, said it swung to profits in the third quarter, despite lower revenues.

The Springfield, Mass.-based company earned $111.5 million, or 72 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with a loss of $94.5 million, or 73 cents a share, a year ago. Third-quarter income from continuing operations was 67 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 26 cents a share in the most recent quarter.

Third-quarter operating revenue fell 9.2% from the year-ago period to $1.59 billion as against analysts' expectation of $1.49 billion.

The company reaffirmed its combined earnings guidance of $1.57 to $1.70 a share in the year 2006 for its regulated businesses and parent company. Full year 2007 consolidated earnings are expected to be $1.30 to $1.55 a share. Analysts expect earnings of $1.15 a share in 2006 and $1.36 a share in 2007.

The company said it will record an after-tax gain of about $300 million, or $1.95 a share, in the fourth quarter of 2006 associated with the sale of 1,442 megawatts of generation in Massachusetts and Connecticut to

Energy Capital Partners

, a private equity firm.

Shares rose 42 cents to $25.57.

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