There is a price to pay for becoming a lean, mean fighting machine, and utilities paid the price in 1994.
A number of electric utilities saw revenues increase last year on the strength of higher sales, but the costs associated with laying off hundreds of employees and downsizing company operations took a significant bite out of earnings.
A PUBLIC UTILITIES FORTNIGHTLY survey of the nation's top 20 electric utilities shows an increase in their combined 1994 revenues to $107 billion, a healthy 3.6-percent rise over the previous year. Last year's net income for the group grew by a more modest 2.4 percent, to $10.3 billion. The average earnings per share was virtually unchanged last year at $2.20. (If we had excluded Unicom Corp. from the survey, earnings per share for 1994 actually would have fallen 3.2-percent below the 1993 average. Unicom, the holding company for Commonwealth Edison Co., took unusually large charges in 1993 to pay for comprehensive rate settlements.)