The utility reported adjusted EPS of $2.29, significantly higher than both last year's first quarter $0.94 EPS and analyst estimates of $1.58.
"The story for first quarter results was net revenue," said Entergy Corporation Chairman and CEO Leo Denault in a statement today. "The cold weather we experienced this past winter put stress on the power and gas systems, driving volatility and higher prices, and gave a glimpse of the longer term path these markets are on due to years of market design issues and regulatory intervention. The market prices realized this winter allowed us to capture significant value through our hedging strategy, and it highlighted the diversification value of our nuclear assets in that region."
While Entergy Corporation undoubtedly benefited from cold weather, Denault was quick to point out weather-adjusted indicators still point to positive residential, commercial, and industrial sales growth.
The company's Q1 achievements noted in its press release included a lower effective income tax rate, lower non-fuel operation and maintenance (O&M) expenses, and a new "certificate of public good" for Entergy's soon-to-be-retired 605 MW Vermont Yankee nuclear plant to continue to operate until the end of 2014.
Looking ahead, Entergy affirmed its fiscal 2014 adjusted earnings guidance range of $5.55 to $6.75 per share -- which it gave last week -- significantly higher than the $4.60-$5.40 EPS it had earlier predicted.