FirstEnergy quarterly, annual earnings down - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

FirstEnergy quarterly, annual earnings down

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FirstEnergy reported 2012 earnings of $771 million and revenue of $15.3 billion, compared with 2011 earnings of net income of $869 million and revenue of $16.1 billion.

On a GAAP basis, the company reported a fourth quarter 2012 net loss of $148 million on revenue of $3.5 billion — that, compared with a fourth quarter 2011 gain of $99 million on revenue of $3.9 billion.

Full-year non-GAAP results benefited from lower operating costs and the net impact of the 2011 Allegheny Energy acquisition — 2011 included results for only 10 months — along with reduced interest expense and higher investment income, the company said. These drivers partially offset lower full-year sales margins, a higher effective income tax rate and reduced distribution deliveries.

Fourth-quarter non-GAAP results benefited from lower operating costs, higher distribution deliveries and increased investment income. Results were negatively affected by lower sales margins and a higher effective income tax rate.

Fourth quarter distribution deliveries increased 1 percent in 2012 compared with 2011. Industrial deliveries in the quarter decreased 3 percent compared with the same period in 2011, while commercial deliveries essentially remained flat and residential deliveries increased 5 percent, largely due to cooler weather compared with the fourth quarter of 2011.

The company's competitive subsidiary, FirstEnergy Solutions, expanded its retail customer count by 42 percent in the year, growing from approximately 1.9 million customers at the end of 2011 to nearly 2.6 million at the end of 2012. FirstEnergy Solutions also grew direct retail sales by 18 percent in the year. In the fourth quarter, sales margins benefited from the execution of the company's retail strategy, but these gains were offset by a decrease in capacity revenues due to lower capacity prices.