Energy company TXU ( TXU) posted a drop in first-quarter earnings, due in part to a charge from an accounting change.

The company earned $40 million, or 14 cents a share, compared with $250 million, or 94 cents a share, in the previous-year quarter. The earnings included a charge of $63 million for the accounting change. TXU also recorded a $3 million loss from discontinued operations in Europe.

Excluding items, TXU earned $101 million, or 30 cents a share. Analysts were expecting 21 cents a share. The company earned $252 million, or 95 cents a share, in last year's quarter, excluding items.

Total sales were $2.82 billion, up from $2.45 billion last year.

Looking to the second quarter, TXU expects earnings around 35 cents a share, while analysts expect 41 cents a share, on average. The company earned 73 cents a share in the second quarter of 2002. In 2003, the company expects earnings from continuing operations to be $1.95 to $2.05 a share. Analysts expect $1.97 a share, on average. The company earned $2.42 in 2002.

TXU's shares were down 2% at $19.51 in afternoon trading Thursday.

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