Entergy shares fall after 3Q profit drops 29 pct.

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Associated Press

Posted on October 29, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 29 at 5:32 PM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Entergy Corp. said Tuesday that its third-quarter profit fell 29 percent on higher costs, and it gave a 2014 forecast with midpoint below analysts' expectations.

Shares of the power generating and distribution company fell $2.05, or 3 percent, to close at $66.06.

Net income fell to $239.9 million, or $1.34 per share, compared with $337.1 million, or $1.89 per share, a year earlier. The company said that excluding special items it would have earned $2.41 per share, up from $1.95 per share on the same basis.

Revenue grew 13 percent to $3.35 billion from $2.93 billion.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected adjusted earnings of $2.18 per share on revenue of $3.14 billion.

Operating costs and expenses rose 30 percent to $2.96 billion including increases for fuel, maintenance and amortization and depreciation.

The company repeated its 2013 profit forecast and said it expected to earn between $4.60 and $5.40 per share in 2014. The midpoint of that range is 13 cents below the $5.13 per share that analysts were forecasting.

The boards of the two companies approved the deal in December 2011, but they're still waiting for regulatory approval in several states. Entergy said the companies haven't picked a new closing date in 2014. Either side can withdraw if the deal isn't closed by the end of 2013.

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