Shares of energy-services company

TXU

(TXU)

were down 18% after the company cut its third-quarter, fourth-quarter and yearly earnings outlook, due to low wholesale electricity prices and retail competition from the U.K.

Recently, shares were down $5.93 to $26.97 on the

New York Stock Exchange

.

The company now expects third-quarter earnings to be in a range of 90 to 95 cents a share, instead of its July 25 prediction of $1.55 to $1.65 a share. Analysts were expecting the company to earn $1.54 a share.

Fourth-quarter earnings are expected to be between 60 cents and 65 cents a share, considerably lower than the initial prediction of $1.05 a share to $1.10. Analysts were expecting the company to earn 99 cents a share.

The Dallas-based company expects 2002 earnings to range from $3.20 a share to $3.25 a share, down from the previous forecast of $4.35 to $4.45 a share, while analysts were expecting $4.31.

In 2003, the company expects to earn between $3.45 a share and $3.55 a share. Previously, the company had forecast $4.80 a share to $4.90 a share. Analysts were expecting $4.66 a share.