Reliant Expects Strong Third Quarter

Benefiting from the hot summer and increased air conditioning loads in the Southwest, Reliant Energy announced it anticipates its third quarter earnings to be "substantially higher" than during the same period last year. The company expects to exceed First Call/Thomson Financial's projections of $1.07 per share by 25 to 30%. Reliant's adjusted earnings for the third quarter of 1999 were $283 million, or 99 cents a share.

The company cited increased earnings from its wholesale energy group, primarily due to the seasonal dynamics in the Southwest region of the U.S., and a surge in customer growth in its regulated electric service territory, as reasons for the expected strong third quarter.

"It was a combination of weather and market factors affecting some of the operations we did have in place last year, along with the fact that we have been aggressively expanding and adding new sources of revenues since last year at this time," said Reliant spokesperson Sandy Fruhman

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