Confident in the pliability of their wildly successful businessmodel that has transformed the energy industry, Enron needed nodog-and-pony show as executives trotted out forecasts during aninvestor’s conference yesterday. In the space of a few hours, theHouston-based giant’s executives stressed one point again andagain: they fully expect to remain the leader in every field theyenter into the foreseeable future.

Chairman (and still CEO) Ken Lay opened the day-long conferencerelaxed and ready to expound on how Enron will sustain its success.He and COO (and soon to be CEO) Jeffrey Skilling said the company’s”increasingly strong business prospects” for this year havepropelled estimates for 2001 recurring earrings to $1.70 to $1.75per diluted share.

Skilling, who jokingly boasted that he’s been close on earningsforecasts for Enron for the past several years, offered evidencefor future growth in each of its divisions, which include wholesaletrading and marketing, retail services, transportation andpipelines and its emerging broadband services market. Based onsteady, sustainable growth, which he said has come from Enron’sflexible business model, Skilling predicted that 2001 would seeeven stronger growth — no matter how the economy performs orwhatever happens in California.

Among other things, Enron executives evidenced their belief in aswelling forecast for this year because of the following reasons:

Already North America’s largest buyer and seller of electricityand natural gas, Skilling said emerging businesses also areexpected to swamp any competition. Its emerging broadband servicesshould see a huge growth in the next two years, he said. Along withthat, Enron’s energy management services sector is doing betterevery day, with strong growth predicted in that new market as well.

Referring to the phenomenal growth of EnronOnline, Skilling saidthe online trader had no actual competition because its daily salesare so much stronger and affect so many more markets than any otherenergy trader. As of Wednesday, EnronOnline had conducted 615,000transactions or about 3,000 a day.

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