Edison International's Q3 net income down 16% year-over-year to US$426M on lower earnings in its power generation business

ROSEMEAD, California , November 2, 2011 () – Electric power generator and distributor Edison International said Wednesday its third-quarter net income fell 16 percent, citing lower earnings in its power generation business.

Edison earned $426 million, or $1.30 per share, down from $510 million, or $1.56 per share, in the same quarter last year.

The year-ago period included an 11 cent per share gain related to a tax settlement.

Analysts, on average, had expected a profit of $1.23 per share, according to a FactSet poll.

The company said profit at its Southern California Edison electric utility, its largest subsidiary, rose 3 percent to $406 million in the July-September quarter because of rate-base growth and lower income taxes.

Profit fell 71 percent to $33 million at Edison Mission Group, the holding company that manages Edison International's power generation business. Drops in capacity revenue, realized energy prices, merchant coal plant generation, and trading income hurt results. The prior-year period's results also included a gain on the sale of bankruptcy claims.

The company said its outlook had improved across the company, and boosted its 2011 profit prediction to a range of $2.90 to $3 per share from its previous prediction of $2.60 to $2.90 per basic share, excluding one-time items.

Analysts polled by FactSet had expected a profit of $2.81 per share for the year.

In midday trading, Edison shares rose 42 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $40.42.

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