Reliant Energy said yesterday that it expects earnings for thesecond quarter of 2000 to be considerably higher than the sameperiod last year and 15-20% higher than industry analysts’projections. In the second quarter of 1999, the company hadadjusted earnings of $123 million, or $0.43 per share. Increasedearnings from the company’s growing multi-regional generationportfolio combined with strong commercial management of theseassets and increased trading margins drove earnings beyondexpectations for the quarter. “Our strategy of building strongbusiness positions in selected regions of the U.S. allows us tocapitalize on the growth opportunities of different markets,” saidReliant CEO Steve Letbetter. The company plans to announce secondquarter earnings on July 27.
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Southern Company Energy Marketing said it sold 55.07 million MWhof electricity and 6.9 Bcf/d of gas in the first quarter of 2000,compared with 43.32 million MWh and 6.6 Bcf/d during the sameperiod in 1999. The marketing company, based in Atlanta, is jointlyowned by Southern Energy and Vastar Resources Inc.
After a lengthy absence, “following the screen” was back invogue Friday among trader explanations for cash market movement.”How else are you going to justify rising Northeast prices for whatis normally a lower-demand weekend period?” asked a largeaggregator. A stormy front was moving beyond the East Coast intothe Atlantic, but the temperatures it left behind were still on themild side for December, he observed.
The futures market began the week in much the same fashion thatit concluded last week-quiet, range-bound trading where neitherbull nor bear could make much of an impact. After notching up to a$2.23 high late in the session Monday, the August contract filteredlower to settle at $2.207, a 2-cent gain for the day.
Southern Energy New York closed a previously announced $480million, 1,776 MW purchase of all Orange and Rockland (O&R)Utilities’ generation assets Thursday. At the same time the dealclosed the Southern Energy subsidiary, which was created with thesole intention of operating these newly-acquired assets, wasted notime in proposing a $390 million, 710 MW expansion to the BowlinePoint Generation Station in Haverstraw, NY.
Except for some western upticks, the cash market bore remarkableresemblance to a pancake Wednesday. Flatness remained the order ofthe day at nearly every trading point. And much as on Tuesday, thelittle bit of price movement that did occur in the East wasgenerally a little lower.
The cash market continued Tuesday to show the same signs ofaftermarket strength-and even more in some cases-that it did lastFriday in swing deals done for June 1 only. Many of the Gulf Coastpipes were trading about a dime above indexes, and most otherpoints were at least a nickel above indexes. However, some tradersdidn’t expect the higher prices to last, noting late softness insome markets such as Chicago.