Portland GE Earnings Struggle Over These Costs

Portland General Electric (NYSE:POR) didn’t have the best news for investors on Friday, but the utility company had its excuses lined up during the quarterly conference call. Facing rising costs attributed to plant operation and the effect of good weather in the Pacific Northwest, PGE missed analyst expectations by $0.02 a share, though the company said its slate of projects in the works point to better earnings moving forward.

CEO Jim Piro announced a net loss of $22 million straight away ($0.29 per share), a contrast from the $26 million in profit ($0.34 per share) in the second quarter of 2012. Analysts were expecting earnings per share at $0.31, giving the company a miss. Piro called the drop attributable to the Cascade Crossing project’s expense, as well as refunds that had to be given out to customers. In addition, general operating expenses were higher, while warm weather led to lower usage among customers.

“Excluding these factors earnings this quarter would have been comparable to earnings in the second quarter of 2012,” Piro said. He then laid out the case for why this slip shouldn’t discourage investors moving forward. Three projects should give the company the chance to increase rates and turn the tables on revenue.