PG&E Corp. Wednesday reported a 22% increase in third quarter earnings compared to the same period last year. Net income for the most recent quarter ended Sept. 30 according to "generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)" was $252 million, or 65 cents/share, compared to $228 million, or 53 cents/share, for the third quarter of 2004.

The holding company for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. reaffirmed its 2005 earnings guidance in "the upper end" of the $2.20-$2.30/share range, and also for the 2006 earnings, which is in the range of $2.35-$2.45/share.

On a non-GAAP basis, earnings quarter-to-quarter were down slightly with the third quarter 2005 being $239 million, or 62 cents/share, compared with $242 million, or 57 cents/share, for the same period last year. "Earnings from operations excludes certain non-operating items reported in GAAP net income," PG&E said in its announcement of results, noting that included in the third-quarter GAAP net income was 3 cents/share associated with tax adjustments related to the former PG&E merchant energy operator, National Energy Group, who operations were discontinued as a PG&E entity.

PG&E CEO Peter Darbee called the third quarter results "solid financial and operation performance," and he expressed the company's intention to increase its investment in the utility "infrastructure and people with the goal of strengthening service and ensuring a reliable energy future for California."

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