PG&E Q2 Profit Beats Views, Outlook Raised

PG&E Corp. (PCG) on Wednesday reported a lower quarterly profit, citing the benefit of a rate case decision in last year's second quarter that added to its results in that period.

But the company's profit for the second quarter beat Wall Street estimates and it raised its outlook for this year and next. The shares rose slightly in late-morning trade, continuing the strong gains of this year to touch a new all-time high.

The San Francisco-based parent of utility Pacific Gas & Electric said net income was $267 million, or 70 cents a share, compared with a profit of $372 million, or 88 cents a share, a year earlier. Operating revenue fell to $2.5 billion from $2.75 billion a year earlier.

Excluding items, PG&E reported a profit of 69 cents per share. Wall Street was expecting earnings of about 61 cents a share, excluding items, on revenue of $2.64 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

For the year the company raised its outlook by 5 cents a share to a range of $2.20 per share to $2.30 per share on benefits from dispute settlements with certain wholesale customers over electric transmission contracts, as well as general strong performance.

Analysts had expected earnings per share of $2.25 excluding items for the full year.

The company also boosted its 2006 forecast by 5 cents to a range of $2.35 per share to $2.45 per share. Analysts had expected earnings per share of $2.40 for the year.

Shares in PG&E were up 21 cents at $38.21 in New York Stock Exchange (search) trade. The stock peaked at $38.68 during the morning, a new lifetime high.