Public Service Enterprise Group Beats Expectations

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Public Service Enterprise Group

(PEG) - Get Report

reported fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday that beat Wall Street's raised expectations by 5 cents.

The Newark, N.J.-based public utility posted earnings of $209 million, or 98 cents a share, for its fourth quarter. According to a consensus of five analysts surveyed by

First Call/Thomson Financial

, PSEG was initially expected to earn 87 cents a share, but estimates were raised to 93 cents a share. For the same quarter last year, PSEG earned $134 million, or 61 cents a share.

Fourth-quarter revenue was $1.98 billion, up from $1.63 billion for the same period the previous year.

Using full-year 2000 earnings of $3.55 per share as a base, PSEG is forecasting a 7% compound annual growth rate over the next five years. Chairman and Chief Executive E. James Ferland estimates earnings of $3.70 a share for 2001 and between $4 to $4.10 a share in 2002.

"We expect PSEG to earn at least $5 per share in 2005, which is the final year of our current planning horizon," Ferland said.

Shares of PSEG gained 31 cents, or 0.7%, in Tuesday trading to close at $41 on the

New York Stock Exchange

.