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FirstEnergy reports stronger Q4'17 operating earnings, tops estimates

FirstEnergy Corp. on Feb. 20 reported fourth-quarter 2017 operating earnings of 71 cents per basic share, compared with 38 cents per basic share in the same quarter of 2016.

The result beat the S&P Capital IQ normalized consensus EPS estimate of 68 cents for the fourth quarter of 2017.

On a GAAP basis, FirstEnergy reported a fourth-quarter 2017 net loss of $2.50 billion, or a loss of $5.62 per basic and diluted share, on revenue of $3.44 billion. In the fourth quarter of 2016, FirstEnergy reported a GAAP loss of $5.80 billion, or a loss of $13.44 per basic and diluted share, on revenue of $3.38 billion.

FirstEnergy recognized a fourth-quarter noncash charge to income tax expense of $1.19 billion, or $2.68 per share, related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The company also recorded noncash, pretax asset impairment and plant exit costs of $2.4 billion, or $3.38 per share, primarily to fully impair the carrying value of its nuclear generating assets, increase the nuclear asset retirement obligations and reduce the carrying value of the Pleasants power plant.

For full year 2017, FirstEnergy's operating earnings were $3.07 per basic share, compared with $2.63 per basic share in 2016. The S&P Capital IQ normalized consensus EPS estimate was $3.05 for 2017.

For the full year, the company reported a GAAP loss of $1.72 billion, or a loss of $3.88 per basic and diluted share, on revenues of $14.02 billion, compared with a 2016 GAAP loss of $6.18 billion, or $14.49 per basic and diluted share, on revenue of $14.56 billion.

FirstEnergy introduced 2018 non-GAAP operating earnings guidance in the range of $2.25 to $2.55 per diluted share.