EON Sees Improved First Quarter Earnings, Gives Outlook

EON AG (EOAN), Germany’s biggest utility, said it expects earnings to be about 31 percent higher in the first quarter of 2012 from a year earlier.

Underlying net income, the profit measure EON uses to calculate its dividend, will be around 1.7 billion euros ($2.2 billion) for the first three months of the year, compared with 1.3 billion euros in 2011, the company said in a statement today. A cold snap in February may have helped boost gas sales, Baader Bank AG (BWB) analyst Karin Brinkman said in a telephone interview today.

“They seem to have been able to profit from that cold week,” Brinkman said. The first quarter results “surprise me on the upside. I had expected higher impact from the nuclear power plant shut down.”

EON jumped as much as 1.8 percent, to 17.42 euros in Frankfurt after the announcement, before trading at 17.07 euros at 12:29 p.m. local time, down 5 cents on the day.

Full-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization will be between 9.6 billion and 10.2 billion euros, the Dusseldorf, Germany-based company said. This compares to the 10.1 billion euro median estimate of 27 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

EON has started to overhaul operations after the Fukushima disaster in Japan last year drove Chancellor Angela Merkel to order the permanent closing of all nuclear plants by 2022. The shutdown of nuclear stations trimmed earnings by 2.5 billion euros in 2011 and drove EON to announce a 15 billion-euro divestment program, job cuts and plans to expand into new markets including Brazil.

The company will hold its annual shareholders meeting tomorrow in Essen, according to the company’s website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kari Lundgren in London at klundgren2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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