Electric power news briefs, October 26

Aquila Energy ... Elwood Energy LLC ... National Fuel Gas Co. ... SolArc Inc. ... Wisconsin Energy Corp. ... Avista Corp. ... Avista Corp. ... Kansas City Power & Light Co. ... Calpine Corp. ... GPU Inc. ... AES Corp.


Aquila Energy, a unit of UtiliCorp United Inc., has signed a 15-year agreement power purchase agreement with Elwood Energy LLC, a joint venture between subsidiaries of Peoples Energy Corp. and Dominion Resources Inc., for the output of Elwood's phase II expansion of its gas-fired, peaking facility, the companies reported. Located in Elwood, Ill., the facility is adjacent to multiple interstate natural gas pipelines and is close to a high capacity transmission corridor that provides access to the wholesale electric market. It is scheduled to become operational in 2001.

National Fuel Gas Co. reported earnings of $127.2 million, or $3.21/share fully diluted, on revenue of $1.4 billion for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2000, compared with earnings of $115 million, or $2.95/share fully diluted, on revenue of $1.3 billion for the same period a year ago. Earnings for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2000 were $2.2 million, or 6�/share, on revenue of $249.3 million, compared with earnings of $4.4 million, or 11�/share, on revenue of $190.3 million for the same period a year ago. The company said the quarterly earning decreases resulted from bigger losses in the utility segment, lower earnings in pipeline and storage, energy marketing, and timber operations.

SolArc Inc. said it has introduced RightAngle IV, a new real-time product-costing and portfolio analysis tool for managing and marketing movement of crude oil, refined products, natural gas liquids, and coal. The product can integrate the transaction process, including trade capture, storage and inventory management, pooled scheduling, logistics and inventory management, trade accounting, position management, and real-time profit and loss reporting, according to the company.

Wisconsin Energy Corp. reported earnings of $44.6 million or diluted earnings of 36�/share on revenue of $850.8 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2000, compared with earnings of $68.9 million or 59�/share on revenue of $591.3 million for the period a year ago. Excluding the impact of the WICOR Inc. acquisition, Wisconsin Energy's earnings would have been $62.3 million or 51�/share. Lower earnings resulted from merger-related costs and cooler weather this summer, the company said. Due to the unusually cool summer and lower than expected earnings at Wisvest, the company reported it anticipates 2000 earnings will be in the lower range of the previously forecasted $1.50-$1.70/share. Assuming normal weather, management said 2001 earnings will be in the $2-$2.25/share range.

Avista Corp. reported net income of $33.9 million or 72�/share for the third-quarter ended Sept. 30,2000, on revenue of $2.9 billion, compared to net income of $27.6 million or 52�/share on revenue of $3.7 billion for the same quarter last year. Avista said third-quarter 2000 performance was primarily the result of the strong performance of Avista Energy, the company's unregulated energy trading and marketing business, and the deferral of $30.8 million, or $20.0 million aftertax, of purchased-power costs at Avista Utilities.

Kansas City Power & Light Co. reported earnings of $1.31/common share, or $81 million, on revenue of $324.4 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2000, up from 59�/common share, or $36 million, on revenue of $300.7 million a year earlier. In the third quarter, retail electricity sales increased 8% compared to the same quarter of FY1999. The company said it expects earnings of $2.70-$2.80/share for the full year 2000.

Calpine Corp. reported net income of $145.9 million after a nonrecurring charge or 96�/share on revenue of $678.9 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2000, compared to net income of $42.9 million or 37�/share on revenue of $253 million for the third quarter of 1999. The company attributed the improvement to the continued strong performance its operating facilities, strategic acquisitions in high-growth energy sectors, and the execution of an aggressive development program. In addition, Calpine's board authorized a two-for-one split of its common stock for stockholders of record as of Nov. 6, 2000. The shares resulting from this split are expected to be distributed after the market closes on Nov. 14, 2000.

GPU Inc. said net income for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2000, was $104 million or 86�/share on revenue of $1.5 billion, compared with $148 million or $1.18/share on revenue of $1.4 billion reported for the 1999 third quarter. The third quarter 2000 results include a loss of 35�/share from providing energy to the company's Pennsylvania retail customers under the fixed tariff rate. The 2000 third quarter net income also includes a gain of $26 million aftertax, or 22�/share from a restructured supply agreement between a GPU independent power project and Niagara Mohawk, and a gain of $17 million aftertax or 13�/share from reversal of deferred taxes and an investment tax credit from sale of the Oyster Creek nuclear generating plant. There were no nonrecurring items in the third quarter of 1999.

AES Corp. reported net income was $134 million or 29�/share on revenue of $1.8 billion for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2000, a 131% increase over net income of $58 million or 15�/share on revenue of $847 million for the third quarter of 1999. The company said the results reflect operating improvements, particularly from South America, including Brazil and Venezuela.

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