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FPL Group Profit Surges, Helped By Wind, Solar Power

Power plant operator FPL Group on Tuesday said its fourth-quarter profit surged 82 percent, primarily due to earnings strength at its wind and solar subsidiary, NextEra Energy Resources Florida Power & Light, which added new assets in 2008 and delivered solid returns on existing assets.

Earnings rose to $408 million, or $1.01 per share, compared with $224 million, or 56 cents per share during the same period last year.

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The results include special items, primarily gains from commodity hedges that outweighed impairment losses on certain investments. Excluding these one-time items, profit totaled $361 million, or 90 cents per share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters forecast a fourth-quarter profit of 89 cents per share, on average. Analysts typically exclude one-time items.

Revenue climbed 9 percent to $4 billion, from $3.68 billion in the prior-year period. Analysts predicted an average revenue of $3.87 billion.

For the year, FPL Group's profit rose 25 percent to $1.64 billion, or $4.07 per share, from $1.31 billion, or $3.27 per share in 2007. Excluding special items, adjusted 2008 earnings totaled $1.55 billion, or $3.84 per share. Annual revenue climbed 8 percent to $16.4 billion, from $15.26 billion during the prior-year period.

FPL Group affirmed its outlook for 2009 and 2010 and said it expects full-year adjusted earnings per share to range between $4.05 and $4.25 in 2009 and $4.50 to $4.90 for 2010. Analysts are expecting an average profit of $4.08 per share and $4.53 per share, respectively.

Shares of FPL Group were up more than 2 percent Tuesday.