FirstEnergy sees modest load growth in 2013, swings to loss in Q4 2012
Louisville, Kentucky (Platts)--25Feb2013/524 pm EST/2224 GMT
FirstEnergy expects modest load growth in 2013 after losing $148 million
in the fourth quarter of 2012, mostly related to pension expenses and other
The company's electric deliveries in the final three months of 2012
increased 1% compared with a year earlier.
The Akron, Ohio-based company's quarterly industrial sales dropped 3%,
however, while commercial sales were flat and residential deliveries rose 5%,
largely due to cooler weather than in the fourth quarter of 2011.
"With regard to economic recovery in our service territory, we still
have a ways to go," James Pearson, FirstEnergy CFO, told analysts during a
conference call to discuss the earnings.
Industrial sales, he said, still are 8% lower than before the 2008
"We see residential and commercial areas growing ever so slightly," in
2013, Pearson said. "The industrial sector has been sluggish over the last
There are some positive signs, however. Ford is opening a new engine
plant in the firm's service area, Pearson said, "and we see, ultimately,
industrial and some commercial activity coming from the Marcellus and Utica
shales, although not as much in 2013 as in 2014."
FirstEnergy's electric deliveries totaled 35.1 million MWh in the fourth
quarter, up from 34.8 million MWh in the comparable period of 2011. For all
of 2012, FirstEnergy delivered 146.6 million MWh, a 3.5% increase from 141.5
million MWh in 2011.
Anthony Alexander, FirstEnergy CEO, who has been pessimistic about the
economic recovery in the past year, said he remains "cautious" about "how
fast this economy will turn around."
Like Pearson, he said the FirstEnergy region could be ripe for growth,
but suggested much largely hinges on federal policies.
FirstEnergy posted a $99 million profit in Q4 2011.
--Bob Matyi, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh, email@example.com