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Oil report

EARNINGS POLL-Enel Q1 core profit to jump, debt in focus

 * Enel first-quarter results
 * Due on Tuesday, May 13, before markets open
 * Core earnings (EBITDA) forecast at 3.329 billion euros
 
 By Ian Simpson and Alberto Sisto
 MILAN/ROME, May 9 (Reuters) - Italian power company Enel SpA
ENEI.MI is expected to show a 43 percent jump in first-quarter
core earnings, boosted by the purchase of Spain's Endesa in a
deal that has made investors focus on debt, a Reuters poll of
analysts showed.
 Enel, Europe's fourth-biggest power company by market value,
is forecast to report earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 3.329 billion euros
($5.15 billion) according to the average of a Reuters poll of 11
analysts.
 Net profit is seen up almost 9 percent at 1.025 billion
euros, on average.
 The hike in earnings stems from consolidation of Enel's 42.5
billion euro purchase of Endesa SA ELE.MC last year with
Spanish partner Acciona SA ANA.MC.
 With the purchase, Enel's debt soared some five-fold to 55.8
billion euros at the end of last year. Enel also paid about 970
million euros in March to raise its holding in Russian power
generator OGK-5 OAD OGKE.MM to almost 60 percent.
 The former state monopoly has vowed to cut debt by as much
as 11 billion euros under its 2008-2012 business plan.
 "We see a risk that this quarter might disappoint investors
in terms of the cost of debt and the overall debt level," Morgan
Stanley analyst Antonella Bianchessi wrote in a note.
 She forecast that debt might rise to 56.3 billion euros and
"increase concerns that the company's targeted net debt ...
might not be achieved".
 
 ON THE BLOCK
 Investors will look for an update on plans to sell assets to
cut debt, including power and gas distribution networks that
Enel has said could be worth 4 billion euros.
 Enel also could give details on a special dividend from sale
of Endesa assets to Germany's E.ON AG EONG.DE. Enel has a
dividend yield of 7.1 percent, more than three times the
European sector average, according to Reuters data.
 "The timing of and proceeds from the expected disposals will
be key to alleviating market concerns about sustaining the
dividend," Exane BNP Paribas analyst Nicola Porcari said in a
research report.
 Enel trades at 11.32 times forecast 2008 earnings, near the
bottom of the sector.
 Following is a summary of analysts' estimates for results
that will be released on Tuesday before markets open (figures in
millions of euros):
 
         Average   Median   High   Low   Sample  Q1 2007
 REVENUES    13,307   13,307 13,924 12,690    2       9,728
 EBITDA       3,329    3,333  3,608  3,200   11       2,332
 EBIT         2,382    2,400  2,431  2,311    7       1,709
 NET PROFIT   1,025      981  1,335    900    9         943
 DEBT        56,462   56,500 59,000 53,897    9      55,800*
                                                            
 * Figure at Dec. 31, 2007
 
 The following banks took part in the poll: UBS, Morgan
Stanley, ABN Amro, Santander, BNP Exane Paribas, UBS, WestLB,
Mediobanca, Banca Leonardo, Chevreux and one that asked to
remain anonymous.
 (Editing by Stephen Weeks)


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