OGE Energy Posts Profit

Revenue jumps 18%.
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OGE Energy's

(OGE) - Get Report

fourth-quarter earnings rose sixfold from a year ago, boosted by a gain on sale of business.

The company earned $56.1 million, or 61 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $9.7 million, or 10 cents a share, a year ago. The company earned $18.2 million, or 20 cents a share, from continuing operations in the quarter, compared with $6.5 million, or 7 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of five cents a share in the most recent quarter.

Revenue rose 18.3% from a year ago to $1.65 billion.

The company expects to earn $1.75 a share to $1.85 a share, excluding any gains on asset sale for the year 2006. Analysts were forecasting earnings of $1.85 a share.

Gross profit rose 1% to $212.8 million and gross profit margin fell 215 basis points to 12.9%. Operating profit rose 16.8% to $40.4 million and operating margin fell 2 basis points to 2.5%.

An after-tax gain on the sale of the company's interest in Enogex Arkansas Pipeline in October 2005, which has been classified as income from discontinued operations, was $37.9 million, or 41 cents a share.

Enogex recorded income from continuing operations of $18 million, or 20 cents a share, compared with $27 million, or 31 cents a share, a year ago.

OG&E recorded net income of $2 million, or 3 cents a share in the fourth-quarter, compared with a net loss of $14 million, or 16 cents a share a year ago. OG&E had incurred a higher operation and maintenance expenses in the year ago quarter, while the same was lower in the latest quarter, thus boosting the profits of the segment.

"At OG&E, we are pleased to have the Oklahoma rate case behind us. With our first rate increase in 20 years, we are better able to continue our focus on reliability while also seeking new opportunities for the utility, including the addition of 120 megawatts of wind power," the company said. "At Enogex, we are repositioning the pipeline for future growth by selling some assets with plans to invest the proceeds in new projects with prospects for higher returns."

On Friday, OGE rose 13 cents to $27.96.

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