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First Energy Corp. Q4 Earnings: 2014 Will Be Tougher

By Justin Loiseau – Feb 25, 2014 at 3:49PM

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The utility cut its dividend, but still expects lower 2014 earnings.

FirstEnergy Corp. (FE 0.34%) reported Q4 2013 earnings today, missing on the top line but making up for it on the bottom.

The Ohio-based utility reported fourth-quarter revenue of $3.64 billion, missing analyst estimates of $4.28 billion. 

On the bottom line, however, adjusted earnings per share (EPS) clocked in at $0.75, beating estimates of $0.69 per share.

For the full 2013 fiscal year, FirstEnergy Corp. reported $14.9 billion in sales and adjusted EPS of $3.04, $0.30 below 2012's EPS. 

"Our solid results for the fourth quarter and the full year of 2013 are at the upper end of our guidance," said FirstEnergy Corp. President and CEO Anthony Alexander in a statement today. "We also took a series of decisive actions during 2013 that were intended to strengthen our financial position and reposition the company to focus on more predictable and stable growth initiatives in our regulated businesses. This growth strategy features a $4.2 billion planned investment in our transmission business over the next four years."

Most notably, FirstEnergy Corp. made the decision recently to slash its dividend, dropping its payout from $0.55 per share last quarter to $0.36 for Q1 2014. 

Looking ahead, FirstEnergy affirmed a fiscal 2014 operating earnings guidance range of $2.45 to $2.85 per share, putting its top-line range estimate $0.19 below this year's earnings.

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Justin Loiseau has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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