NEW ORLEANS — Entergy Corporation expects fourth quarter 2010 as-reported earnings of approximately $1.25 per share and operational earnings of approximately $1.29 per share. As-reported and operational results for fourth quarter 2009 were $1.64 per share and $1.75 per share, respectively.
Beginning this quarter, Entergy has revised its business segment disclosures to reflect the internal reorganization announced in June 2010 combining all non-utility generation into Entergy Wholesale Commodities, or EWC. A portion of EWC was previously reported in Parent & Other. The Utility segment is unchanged.
The quarter-over-quarter decrease in operational earnings at Entergy Wholesale Commodities was driven by lower net revenue due primarily to additional planned and unplanned outage days at EWC’s nuclear plants. Lower nuclear generation reflected planned refueling outages at two plants totaling 43 days, as well as an extended unplanned outage at Indian Point 2 in Nov. 2010. There were no nuclear refueling outages in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Also contributing to the decline in operational earnings in the current period was a higher effective income tax rate and a reduction in other income associated with decommissioning trusts. A gain on the sale of the Harrison County plant and lower non-fuel operation and maintenance expense provided a partial offset to these items.
The decrease in Utility’s earnings in fourth quarter 2010 was due primarily to an increase in non-fuel operation and maintenance expense. In addition, a decline in Utility net revenue was driven by the net effect of the absence of a prior year positive adjustment for changes in the deferred fuel methodology at Entergy Gulf States Louisiana and a regulatory charge also recorded in the prior year period. Favorable weather during the fourth quarter of 2010 and pricing adjustments resulting from previous rate actions had an overall positive effect on net revenue.
Entergy affirmed previously issued as-reported and operational earnings guidance for 2011 to be in the range of $6.35 to $6.85 per share.