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.


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.