FirstEnergy posts 4Q loss on pension-related costs

FirstEnergy posts $148M 4Q loss on pension charges, adjusted profit in line with Wall Street

Associated Press

AKRON, Ohio (AP) -- FirstEnergy Corp. said Monday that it posted a fourth-quarter loss of $148 million, hurt by hefty costs related to pension adjustments and other items.

The Akron, Ohio-based energy company's loss amounted to 35 cents per share and compared with a profit of $99 million, or 23 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2011.

The recent quarter's results included 91 cents per share in charges related to pension adjustments. Excluding one-time items like that, the company's adjusted profit was 80 cents per share.

Revenue fell 10 percent to $3.5 billion.

The adjusted profit matched Wall Street predictions, while the revenue fell significantly short. Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 80 cents per share on $4.85 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

FirstEnergy said the recent quarter's results got a boost from lower operating costs, higher distribution deliveries and an increase in investment income. Those gains were partially offset by lower sales margins and a higher effective income tax rate.

For the full year 2012, FirstEnergy earned $771 million, or $1.84 per share, down from $869 million, or $2.21 per share, in 2011. Revenue fell to $15.3 million from $16.1 million.

The company also backed its 2013 profit guidance of $2.85 to $3.15 per share. Analysts expect $2.98 per share.

FirstEnergy shares rose 31 cents to $40.85 in morning trading.

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