Exelon (NYSE: EXC), one of the largest electric utilities companies in the U.S., increased its third quarter profits by nearly 12%, prompting it to raise its full-year earnings guidance on Friday.
For the third quarter, net income was $845 million, or $1.27 per share, versus $757 million, or $1.14 per share in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted to exclude hedging and one-time items, net income was $739 million, or $1.11 per share, compared with adjusted profits of $633 million, or $0.96 per share, a year earlier.
The increase is due primarily to the hot summer weather, which led many to pump up their air conditioners during the season. The Chicago-based company has been struggling though over the past two years with regards to boosting power demand and weak wholesale power prices.
Exelon revised its guidance range upward for 2010 adjusted operating earnings from $3.80 to $4.10 per share to $3.95 to $4.10 per share.
Revenue increased during the quarter by 22% to $5.29 billion. According to Thomson Reuters, analysts were expecting earnings per share of $1.12 on revenues of $4.79 billion.
"Exelon Generation achieved an impressive nuclear fleet capacity factor that exceeded 95 percent, and ComEd and PECO provided reliable performance during a very hot summer," said chairman and CEO John W. Rowe.
The company's ComEd northern Illinois delivery business was definitely helped by the favourable weather, as it more than doubled with net income of $121 million for the period. Retail deliveries were up 16%.
PECO, the electricity transmission and distribution operations focused on southeastern Pennsylvania, also saw its profits go up by 38% to $127 million.
In August, the company announced an agreement to acquire John Deere Renewables, an operator and developer of wind power, in an $860 million deal that will add 735 operating megawatts of clean, renewable energy to Exelon's portfolio. The transaction is expected to provide incremental earnings in 2012 and cash flows in 2013, the company said.
Exelon distributes electricity to approximately 5.4 million customers in northern Illinois and southeastern Pennsylvania and natural gas to approximately 486,000 customers in the Philadelphia area.
Despite the results, the company was down more than 3% on Friday, trading at $42.04 as of 12:28pm ET.