WGL restates earnings; DTE reports loss

WGL Holdings Inc., the parent company of Washington Gas Light Co., Monday restated its previously reported second and third quarter results and reduced its full year earnings forecast, blaming an accounting error related to the cost of gas. In addition, Detroit's DTE Energy Co. operator of the Detroit Edison utility, Monday reported a second quarter loss due to a charge from the May acquisition of MCN Energy Group Inc.


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Aug. 13 -- WGL Holdings Inc., the parent company of Washington Gas Light Co., Monday restated its previously reported second and third quarter results and reduced its full year earnings forecast, blaming an accounting error related to the cost of gas.

In addition, Detroit's DTE Energy Co. operator of the Detroit Edison utility, Monday reported a second quarter loss due to a charge from the May acquisition of MCN Energy Group Inc.

WGL, Washington, DC, said management corrected an accounting error that caused an overstatement of net income from utility operations in the previously reported results of the current fiscal year.

WGL said net income for the second quarter of the current fiscal year ended Mar. 31, has been restated to $62 million, or $1.33/share, down from $66.8 million, or $1.44/share as originally reported. For the third quarter ended June 30, WGL reported its net loss was corrected to $6.8 million, or 14¢/share, from a net loss of $5.6 million, or 12¢, as originally reported. The company said operating revenue was not affected.

Excluding nonrecurring items, WGL said it now expects to earn $1.88-$1.98 for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. The company said it still expects to earn $1.85-$1.95/share in fiscal 2002, assuming normal weather and excluding certain items.

Despite the second quarter loss, DTE said it expects full year earnings of $3.50-$3.60/share, excluding the impact of the MCN acquisition and goodwill amortization. For the second quarter, DTE posted a loss of $87 million, or 60¢/share, compared to a profit of $108 million, or 76¢/share in the year earlier period. This year's results include a $153 million after-tax charge for job cuts related to the MCN Energy acquisition.

Excluding the charge, DTE said its earnings fell 35% to $70 million, or 48¢/share, due to unrecoverable fuel costs. Last month the company forecast earnings of 30-40¢/share. Operating revenues for the quarter were $1.79 billion, up from $1.43 billion a year earlier.

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