Con Edison Net Jumps

EPS is 59 cents a share from continuing operations.
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Consolidated Edison

(ED) - Get Report

, the New York utility company run by Kevin Burke, said fourth-quarter earnings more than doubled from a charge-soaked year-ago period.

"Con Edison's utility operations performed very well under extreme weather conditions in 2005," said Burke, the Fordham-educated lawyer who was

elevated to CEO last May. "The investments we have made in our infrastructure over the past few years enabled us to reliably meet the energy needs of our customers during the summer of 2005. These investments enable New York's economy to continue to grow."

Burke is 54 years old.

The company earned $138 million, or 56 cents a share, in the latest quarter, compared with $51 million, or 21 cents a share, a year ago. Sales were $1.91 billion, up from $1.41 billion a year ago. On a continuing operations basis, Con Ed earned 59 cents a share in the quarter. Analysts were forecasting earnings of 53 cents s share.

The year-ago fourth quarter included a charge of $65 million, or 27 cents a share, for a rate plan.

For 2006, Con Ed forecast earnings of $2.90 to $3.10 a share. "The forecast reflects construction expenditures of $1.8 billion for the company's regulated utilities, and common stock issuance of between $250 million and $450 million in addition to stock issuances under the company's dividend reinvestment and employee stock plans," it said.

Analysts are expecting earnings of $3.01 a share for 2006, according to First Call.