Entergy ( ETR ) Monday warned first-quarter profit would be lower than a year ago and fall short of analysts' expectations.

The New Orleans-based company forecast operational earnings of at least 85 cents a share, well below analysts' consensus estimate of 95 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call. The company earned $1.05 a share in the year-ago period.

The electric power producer blamed lower earnings at its Entergy-Koch joint venture, caused by a decrease in trading, and higher expenses.

For full-year 2004, Entergy affirmed earnings guidance of $4.10 to $4.30 a share. The consensus is for $4.23 a share.

The company reports full results April 26.

Share closed at $58.28 Thursday.