Despite a proposed record $5.45 million fine for allowing a Davis-Besse reactor head to become so corroded it nearly burst, FirstEnergy Corp. reported yesterday that its first-quarter earnings, although down, exceeded expectations.
It was $159.7 million, or 48 cents a share, compared with $174 million, or 53 cents a share for the same period a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial Network forecast 43 cents a share profit.
The Akron energy company previously reserved $2 million in anticipation of a fine from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission involving the 2002 Davis-Besse incident and, last quarter, booked an additional $3.5 million, or a penny a share.
FirstEnergy, which owns the Toledo area's primary electric provider in Toledo Edison, said it had $2.8 billion in revenue for the quarter, down 7 percent from $3 billion in the same period last year.
The company's stock closed up 35 cents a share yesterday at $42.87 on the New York Stock Exchange.
Company officials told analysts and investors during a conference call that the utility expects to file a rate plan with state regulators in a few weeks for increased fuel and fuel-related costs beginning Jan. 1.
The amount has not been finalized, officials said.