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Edison International reports 55% drop in profit

The owner of Southern California Edison blames a delay in a decision on rate hikes and costs related to its San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

November 02, 2012|By Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times
  • Edison International said its net profit fell to $190 million, or 58 cents a share, compared with $426 million, or $1.31, a year earlier. Sales rose 6.5% to $4.1 billion. Above, an employee rides around the company's generating facility in Redlands in 2006.
Edison International said its net profit fell to $190 million, or 58 cents… (Mark Boster, Los Angeles…)

Edison International saw its third-quarter profit fall 55% because of lower energy prices and higher utility costs. The Rosemeadcompany also blamed a delayed decision on rate increases by California regulators.

Edison, which owns the Southern California Edison utility, was also hit hard by costs associated with inspections and repairs to its San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. The utility's two nuclear reactors were closed after problems were discovered in steam generators, and they haven't produced electricity since January.

Edison said its net profit fell to $190 million, or 58 cents a share, compared with $426 million, or $1.31, a year earlier. Sales rose 6.5% to $4.1 billion.

"With its strong portfolio of regulated utility assets and well-managed merchant energy operations, Edison International presents a lower risk profile compared to its peers like Consolidated Edison Inc. and Entergy Corp.," said a report by Zacks Investment Research of Chicago. "However, we remain concerned about the tepid economy, volatile gas prices and the pending regulatory approval for recovery of capital expansion costs.

Edison's performance failed to meet analyst expectations. The Zacks consensus estimate, for example, had been $1.10 a share.

Ted Craver, Edison International's chairman and chief executive, indicated that the company needed a favorable decision on the rate increases soon, calling it "an important part of moving forward with (Southern California Edison's) capital program to invest in California's electric infrastructure and provide safe, reliable, and affordable power."

Edison released its earnings report after the stock market's close. Shares fell 21 cents Thursday to $46.71.

ron.white@latimes.com

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