October 30, 2017 / 11:09 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-EDF shares fall after power company cuts 2017 forecasts

* EDF shares fall, among worst performers in Paris

* EDF shares nevertheless up around 25 pct YTD

* Rising power prices should help buoy stock -analysts (Adds analysts comments and detail)

PARIS, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Shares in French state-controlled power group EDF fell on Monday after the utility lowered its 2017 nuclear power output and earnings targets after postponing the restart of its Tricastin nuclear power plant.

EDF shares were down 1.6 percent at 11.16 euros ($13) in mid-session trading, clawing back some ground after initially tumbling 3 percent at the start of trading.

The stock, which remains up by roughly 25 percent since the start of 2017, was among the worst performers on France’s SBF-120 index, with the SBF-120 up 0.1 percent.

Morningstar analysts said that while EDF’s profit warning did not affect their overall view of the company, its financial target cuts, which came after it reiterated those goals only a month ago, posed questions over the management’s credibility.

“This second profit warning in two years calls into question management’s credibility, but increasing wholesale power prices will support the group’s profitability over 2018-20, and EDF would significantly benefit from a successful reform of the EU ETS (Emissions Trading System),” Morningstar wrote in a note.

“EDF could have anticipated that it would take some weeks after the works completion to get the green light from the ASN to restart the reactor. Also, the lack of any mention of the 2018 financial target raises some concerns,” it said.

Jefferies analysts, who have a “buy” rating on EDF, said there was still more of an upside bias towards EDF shares.

“While the revision to the target is unhelpful and implies a 3 percent downside risk to current consensus numbers, we believe that the downside risk related to this is outweighed by the more sustainable upside we see from higher carbon prices, and more favourable regulation in France,” wrote the investment bank.

EDF said on Oct. 27 that it was reducing its total nuclear power output forecast to 383-387 terrawatt-hours (TWh) for this year from an already revised target of 385-392 TWh.

It also cut its 2017 forecast for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to 13.4-14 billion euros, from a previous range of 13.7-14.3 billion euros.

$1 = 0.8594 euros Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Bate Felix; Editing by Dominique Vidalon

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