FirstEnergy Corp. reported higher earnings on slightly lower revenue for its second quarter compared to a year ago.

The Akron utility reported Tuesday that it had net income of $308 million, or 58 cents per share, on revenue of $2.5 billion for the quarter ending June 30. That compares to revenue of $134 million, or 28 cents per share, on revenue of $2.6 billion a year ago.

FirstEnergy reported second-quarter results after the stock market closed.

The utility said it had adjusted earnings of 61 cents per share compared to 62 cents per share a year ago.

Net income beat analyst expectations, while revenue fell short.

"Our results for the second quarter exceeded the midpoint of our guidance, despite the unusually mild weather across our service area this spring," Charles E. Jones, president and chief executive officer, said in a news release. "We achieved strong operational performance as we continued to implement our strategic initiatives, and we are pleased to reaffirm our projection for 6 percent to 8 percent of compound annual growth from 2018 through 2021."

Shares on Tuesday closed down 28 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $43.32. Over the past 52 weeks, shares have ranged from a low of $34.30 to a high of $44.20.

FirstEnergy executives will discuss second-quarter results with industry analysts starting 10 a.m. Wednesday. The public can listen in via webcast by going to www.firstenergycorp.com/ir.

The company said it expects to earn between $1.265 billion to $1.425 billion, or $2.34 to $2.64 per share, for the year. Adjusted earnings are forecast to range between $2.45 to $2.75 per share.

FirstEnergy said its regulated distribution business had lower expenses, taxes and finances costs in the second quarter that were offset by lower deliveries caused primarily by mild spring weather plus other factors.

Second-quarter 2019 heating degree days were 20 percent below normal and 23 percent lower than the second quarter of 2018, the utility said. Cooling degree days were 4 percent below normal, and 28 percent lower than the same period of 2018

Residential sales fell 9.7 percent.

Deliveries to industrial customers decreased 1.7 percent as lower demand from steel and automotive customers offset continued growth in the shale sector, FirstEnergy said.

For the first six months of 2019, FirstEnergy had $623 million in net income, or $1.17 per share, on revenue of $5.4 billion.

That compares to net income of $1.4 billion, or $2.86 per share, on revenue of $5.5 billion for the same period in 2018.

First-half earnings included a gain on the deconsolidation of FirstEnergy Solutions Corp., its subsidiaries, and FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Co., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March 2018.

 

Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or jmackinnon@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him @JimMackinnonABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/JimMackinnonABJ