October 29, 2010 / 12:41 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 2-Constellation posts quarterly loss on charges

* Constellation profit hit by charges from EDF pact

* NextEra profit beats Street on wind gains

* Dominion profit lags forecast

* Shares in all three companies dip (Adds NextEra figures; updates share movement)

NEW YORK, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Constellation Energy Group CEG.N posted a steep quarterly loss as it wrote down the value of assets following a settlement with French power company EDF.

Peer Dominion Resources Inc (D.N) posted quarterly profit that missed Wall Street estimates, while NextEra Energy Inc (NEE.N) slightly beat forecasts, but narrowed its full-year forecast to the lower half of its previous range.

Constellation, which owns utility Baltimore Gas & Electric, posted a third-quarter loss of $1.4 billion, or $6.99 per share, compared with a year-earlier profit of $138 million, or 69 cents per share.

Excluding charges for the settlement and other items, Constellation’s earnings per share were 48 cents, lagging the 64 cents that analysts had forecast, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Earlier this month, Constellation unilaterally pulled out of an effort to seek a U.S. government loan guarantee to help finance the construction of a new nuclear reactor, sparking a dispute with joint venture partner EDF.

The companies said this week that they had settled the dispute, with EDF agreeing to buy Constellation’s 50 percent stake in their UniStar nuclear partnership, and Constellation agreeing not to exercise an option that would have required EDF to buy up to $2 billion of its assets. [ID:nN26180877]

NextEra, the nation’s largest producer of wind and solar power and the owner of utility Florida Power & Light, said its net income for the third quarter rose 35 percent to $720 million, or $1.74 per share.

New wind farms that have added 1,260 megawatts in capacity over the past year, as well as an improved performance by existing plants, were key reason for the gain, the company said.

Excluding one-time items, earnings per share were $1.45, slightly above the $1.43 analysts had expected.

But the company said its earnings per share for 2010 would be in the lower half of the previously disclosed range of $4.25 to $4.65.

Dominion Resources said asset sales pushed its third-quarter earnings down to $575 million, or 98 cents per share, from $594 million, or $1.00 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, earnings per share of $1.03 fell slightly short of the analysts’ average estimate of $1.07, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Dominion said it expected fourth-quarter earnings of 59 cents to 69 cents per share, excluding items, in line with analysts’ estimates of 66 cents.

Constellation shares were down 1.3 percent at $30.45 per share in midday trading, while NextEra shares slipped 0.6 percent to $54.74 and Dominion shares fell 1.1 percent to $43.46.

Also on Friday, power companies Alliant Energy LNT.N, DPL Inc DPL.N and Calpine CPN.N posted strong profits as they reaped the benefits of a hot summer and an improving economy. [ID:nSGE69S0FB] (Reporting by Matt Daily; editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Andre Grenon)

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