Archive for Saturday, August 9, 2003

Westar posts higher earnings

Company reduces debt, improves performance in second quarter

August 9, 2003


— An improved performance by Westar Energy Inc.'s electric operations -- and reduced corporate debt -- helped boost its revenues, net income and earnings during the second quarter, the company reported Friday.

Westar reported earnings of $28.2 million, of 38 cents per share, for the three months ending June 30, up from $9.3 million, or 13 cents per share, during the same quarter in 2002. The company saw revenues of $257.2 million, compared with $239.6 million for the second quarter last year.

For the first six months of the year, Westar reported earnings of $152.1 million, or $2.09 a share, up from a loss of $737.3 million, or $10.31 a share, during the first six months of 2002.

Earnings from continuing operations, excluding one-time items, were 30 cents a share, compared with 11 cents for the same period last year.

During last year's second quarter, Westar's electric operations showed a loss of 4 cents per share. This year, the second-quarter figure was 33 cents per share.

Revenues were helped by wholesale sales, company officials said. During the second quarter, wholesale power sold for $34 per megawatt, compared with $23 per megawatt during the same quarter last year. Westar, the state's largest electric utility, expects its wholesale revenues to remain strong during the third quarter.

Operating expenses for the quarter dropped to $135 million, compared with $139.6 million during the same period in 2002.

While James Haines, Westar's chief executive officer, told analysts and reporters during a conference call that the company is making significant progress to improve finances, he added, "Of course, we have much more to do."

Westar's shares closed up 19 cents at $16.79 in trading Friday.

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