Entergy Corp. on Thursday reported that fourth-quarter earnings beat Wall Street expectations although assets impairments for the company’s nuclear and wholesale energy business caused the utility operator to end fiscal 2015 in the red.
Still, the New Orleans-based energy giant’s utility business saw robust earnings growth in 2015 and company executives reiterated that parent of Entergy Arkansas Inc. would see strong earnings in the range is $4.95 to $5.75 per share in fiscal 2016.
“In 2015, we successfully worked through an extensive to-do list aimed at laying the foundation for steady and predictable Utility, Parent & Other earnings growth and improving certainty in our merchant generation business. Some of these actions, while necessary, were difficult for our stakeholders and impacted our as-reported financial results for the year,” said Entergy chairman and CEO Leo Denault. “On an operational basis, our final 2015 results are in line with the expectations we shared with you last fall.”
For the period ended Dec. 31, 2015, the New Orleans-based parent of Entergy Arkansas Inc. reported fourth-quarter earnings of 56 cents per share $104.8 million, versus earnings 66 cents per share for the same period a year ago.
On an adjusted basis, the utility giant reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.58 cent per share on revenue of $2.5 billion. Wall Street had expected the utility holding company to report fourth-quarter earnings of $1.45 cents per share on revenue of $2.9 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.
For the full year, however, the company reported a loss of $156.7 million, or 99 cents per share. Revenue was for the year was $11.51 billion, officials said.
Additional business highlights for Entergy included the following:
• 2016 operational EPS guidance range is $4.95 to $5.75 for Entergy consolidated; the range for Utility, Parent & Other Adjusted EPS is $4.20 to $4.50.
• Entergy Arkansas Inc. filed an unopposed settlement agreement in its rate case.
• The sale of the Rhode Island State Energy Center power plant closed in December.
• Entergy announced the shutdown date for the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant is planned to be Jan. 27, 2017.
Entergy shares (NYSE: ETR) have traded in the range of $61.27 and $81.07 over the past 52 weeks. In early trading on Thursday, shares of the New Orleans-based utility were up 2.5%, or $1.80, at $72.81.
Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The Arkansas Public Service Commission is expected to rule later this month on a joint settle agreement on Entergy Arkansas’ pending rate case first filed in April 2015.