Los Angeles Business Journal

Edison Moves to Loss on Power Plant Charges

By Deborah Crowe Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Edison International late Wednesday reported a fourth-quarter loss, as the electric utility took more than $1 billion in impairment charges related to power stations at its Edison Mission Energy merchant power unit.

After the markets closed, the Rosemead parent of Southern California Edison reported a loss of $839 million (-$2.57 a share), compared with net income of $166 million (51 cents) in the same period a year earlier. Revenue fell 1.8 percent to $3.01 billion.

Excluding one-time items, Edison has net income of 75 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters on average expected adjusted profit of 45 cents a share on revenue of nearly $3.2 billion.

Operating income at SoCal Edison rose 36 percent to $247 million. Edison took charges totaling $1.05 billion, related to its power plant in Homer City, Penn., three other coal plants in the Midwest and some wind energy assets. The company said it plans to transfer the Homer City facility to the owner-lessors, saying it was unable to secure third-party financing to pay for required pollution controls.

Edison plans to shut down two of the cited coal plants, which have been in operation since the late 1950s and 1960s, citing low power prices and the cost of required retrofits. It is still determining what to do with the third plant.

Shares earlier closed down 12 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $41.87 on the New York Stock Exchange.