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CORPORATE EARNINGS

NRG Energy Inc. reported fourth-quarter net income of $18.1 million, or 18 cents a share on revenue of $580.9 million. The results included a $60 million pretax gain for fourth-quarter electricity sales to hedge coal generation in the Northeast for 2005. Per-share figures for the fourth quarter of 2003 weren't available. The Minneapolis-based power generator owns two coal-fired power plants in Western New York formerly owned by Niagara Mohawk -- the Huntley Station in the Town of Tonawanda and the Dunkirk Steam Station. The company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Dec. 5, 2003. The Northeast region posted a strong fourth quarter, with adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $111 million.

Hartmarx Corp., a maker of business, casual and golf apparel, said Wednesday that first-quarter earnings nearly doubled year-over-year due to higher sales and an improved gross margin rate. Net income grew to $4.2 million, or 11 cents per share, from $2.2 million, or 6 cents per share, a year ago. Sales increased 5.3 percent to $143.8 million from $136.6 million last year. Hartmarx owns M. Wile Co. in Buffalo.

Jos. A. Bank Clothiers said its fourth-quarter earnings grew 32 percent, helped by sharply higher sales during the period. Quarterly income rose to $12.6 million, or 88 cents per share, from $9.6 million, or 68 cents, in the year-ago period. Net sales totaled $127.9 million, an increase of 27 percent from sales of $100.9 million a year earlier, and beat the analysts' target of $124.3 million. At stores open at least a year, sales gained 9.4 percent during the period.

Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored finance firm recovering from a massive accounting scandal, said its earnings plunged more than 40 percent last year, hurt by a substantial loss on derivative contracts. Annual earnings fell to $2.62 billion, or $3.78 a share, after payment of preferred dividends from $4.6 billion, or $6.68 a share, in 2003. The company blamed its shrinking profit on a $4.48 billion loss from derivatives. Freddie Mac did not break out quarterly figures.

A.G. Edwards Inc. said profit for its latest quarter fell 7 percent, as it booked charges and was hurt by a drop in commission revenue. The St. Louis-based financial service company had net income of $50.4 million, or 65 cents a share, for the fiscal fourth quarter ended Feb. 28, compared with $54.4 million, or 67 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 1 percent in the latest quarter to $689.5 million from $696.8 million a year earlier.

Service Corp. International, the world's largest funeral and cemetery company, said earnings fell in the latest quarter even though North American results improved. The Houston-based company said it earned $25.9 million, or 8 cents a share, on revenue of $433.3 million in the fourth quarter. In the previous year, it earned $30.4 million, or 10 cents a share, on revenue of $600 million. Earnings from continuing operations excluding special items fell to 7 cents a share from 12 cents a share in the fourth quarter of 2003.

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