Companies continue to embrace the back-to-basics strategy, and investors seem to think that it is paying off.
Business & Money
percent to 8 percent. "This growth will be driven, in part, though increased revenues from long-term energy contracts already in place and through generation capacity not already under contract from our existing fleet" of power plants, Hecht said in a statement.
Progress Posts Profit But Warns for '03
Progress Energy reported a fourth-quarter profit, reversing last year's loss, as sales improved from cold U.S. winter weather. However, Progress lowered its 2003 outlook, mostly due to a stock sale that will water down per-share earnings. The dilutive sale, which saw more than 14 million shares offered in November, also comes as tougher economic times are expected. The Raleigh, N.C.-based company posted fourth-quarter net income of $123 million, or 55 cents a share, compared with a loss of $90.5 million, or 42 cents a share, a year earlier. However, total operating revenue rose to $1.94 billion from $1.84 billion a year earlier.
Looking ahead, Progress lowered its 2003 forecast to between $3.60 and $3.80 a share, down from its previous forecast of $3.80 to $3.90, reflecting a tough economic climate and the share dilution. The lowered earnings range compared with a Wall Street consensus estimate of $3.84. Company executives warned of a challenging year ahead. Peter Scott, Progress' chief financial officer, told investors and analysts that net revenue from its retail energy business would rise at a rate of just over 2 percent, below typical growth.
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