FPL Group (FPL) Halts Streak Of Revenue Growth.. Blame It On El Nino

FPL Group (FPL) beat Wall St estimates this morning, posting .79/share, but the positives stop there.  Quarter over quarter revenue growth came to a halt for the the first time in a few years with a 12% decrease over the year ago quarter.  Earnings also decreased from the year ago quarter.. by 9%.

The company attributed some of the weakness to its NextEra unit which was hit by the extension of a planned outage at the Seabrook nuclear plant, unfavorable market conditions in Texas and …. drum roll please.. El Nino.  That’s right.. when El Nino comes a knockin the wind don’t be a rockin.. and when the wind don’t be a rockin, the wind turbines don’t produce energy.  However, FPL’s Power and Light unit benefited from the unseasonably warm weather, keeping those AC units humming across Florida.

In terms of capacity, FPL added 1170MW of wind energy in North America in 2009 and now owns 7540MW across 17 states and Canada. 

CEO Lew Hay commented on the quarter saying, “Despite some significant challenges, FPL Group’s adjusted earnings per share grew by more than 5 percent in 2009. At NextEra Energy Resources, the addition of nearly 1,200 megawatts of wind generation assets led the way to adjusted earnings per share growth of approximately 6 percent in 2009 compared with 2008. At Florida Power & Light, we continued to provide customers with the lowest typical monthly bill in the state and excellent reliability; financial performance was helped by favorable weather. Looking ahead, I remain convinced that FPL Group’s commitment to being a clean energy leader is the right strategy at the right time and will serve our customers and investors well for many years to come.”

Looking ahead to next year, FPL expects EPS in the range of $4.25 – $4.65 which sandwhiches the Wall St estimate of $4.40.  The company went on to say that it doesn’t expect a rapid recovery in the Florida economy this year, but plans to forge ahead with its investment in wind energy, adding around 1000MW in capacity.

Shares of FPL are recovering a bit this morning after plunging 15% over the past month.

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