NEW ORLEANS — Entergy Corporation expects first quarter 2013 as-reported earnings of approximately $0.89 per share and operational earnings of approximately $0.93 per share.
Results for first quarter 2012 were a loss of $0.86 per share on an as-reported basis and earnings of $0.44 per share on an operational basis. Entergy also affirmed previously issued operational earnings guidance for 2013.
Special items were recorded for an impairment in connection with the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant in first quarter 2012 and expenses associated with the proposed spin-off and merger of Entergy’s electric transmission business with ITC Holdings Corp. in the first quarters of 2012 and 2013.
The increase in first quarter 2013 earnings was driven by higher results at Utility and Entergy Wholesale Commodities, which was partially offset by lower results at Parent and Other.
The increase in Utility first quarter 2013 operational earnings was driven by higher net revenue and lower income tax expense. The improvement in Utility net revenue reflected pricing adjustments due primarily to nuclear and combined cycle natural gas-fired generation investments in 2012. These resources provide clean and efficient generation for the benefit of customers. Both periods had negative weather effects. However, weather in first quarter 2013 was not as mild as the comparable year period, resulting in an increase in as-reported retail volume, which was also reflected in the higher net revenue.
The lower income tax expense was driven by a prior period item. First quarter 2012 income tax expense included a non-cash adjustment to write off a regulatory asset for income taxes to appropriately align the financial accounting treatment with the regulatory treatment of income taxes for certain items.
Partially offsetting these items were increases in non-fuel operation and maintenance and depreciation expenses.
Entergy Wholesale Commodities
The quarter-over-quarter increase in earnings at Entergy Wholesale Commodities was due to an increase in net revenue driven by higher nuclear energy and capacity pricing. Partially offsetting was an increase in nuclear refueling and unplanned outage days. Refueling days at the Indian Point 3 and Vermont Yankee nuclear plants totaled 50 days in the current quarter, compared to 27 refueling days at Indian Point 2 in first quarter 2012.
Parent & Other
Parent & Other’s operational results declined during the quarter due to several individually insignificant items.
Entergy affirmed its previously issued 2013 operational earnings guidance to be in the range of $4.60 to $5.40 per share. The revised 2013 as-reported guidance of $4.56 to $5.36 per share reflects the first quarter special item for expenses associated with the proposed spin-off and merger of the transmission business with ITC noted above. The as-reported guidance range will be updated throughout the year as these transaction-related expenses are incurred.