Industry Briefs

It's official, last week GPU and UtiliCorp United's Aquila Energy subsidiary announced that in late December, the companies completed the transaction that sent GPU International to Aquila Energy for $225 million. The sale included the interests that GPU International held in six independent generating plants and a generating project, which is currently under development. First announced in October 2000, the five interests, all in the United States, total approximately 500 MW of capacity (see Daily GPI, Oct. 6, 2000). Aquila also receives a 50% interest in the 715 MW project, which is still under development. With this latest deal, Aquila now owns or controls approximately 4,500 MW of generation under construction, in development, or in commercial operation.

COCOA, FL-based Cambridge Energy added to its production areas late last week, as the company completed its acquisition of an oil and gas property located in Terrebonne Parish, LA. Based upon reviews of the property's reports, Cambridge believes the land has 3.2 Bcf of natural gas reserves and 1.2 million bbl of recoverable oil reserves, of which, 1.84 Bcf of gas and 692,000 bbl of oil are proven reserves. Although the company did not release terms of the transaction, it believes the property has an approximate net present value discounted at 10% of almost $14 million.

Dominion Resources announced that due to the expected strong revenues from all of its units, it is raising its 2001 earnings target by $0.30 per share. The company said that the increase represents an almost 24% increase over current First Call analyst consensus earnings estimates of $3.31 per share in 2000. Due to Dominion's pending acquisition of the Millstone nuclear plant in Waterford, CT, the company has included an earnings accretion of $0.05 per share in its 2001 earnings prediction. The Virginia-based company also reported that it has raised its 2002 earnings range from $4.10-$4.18 up to $4.40-$4.50 per share. Dominion added that due to strong revenues, it expects to "meet or exceed" the fourth quarter 2000 First Call consensus of $0.57 per share. The company said it will announce fourth quarter and full year 2000 results on Jan. 26.

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