Power generation and distribution firm AES Corp. (AES: Quote) Wednesday reported a rise in fourth-quarter profit on higher sales. Both earnings per share and revenues topped analysts' expectations. The company's board has also increased share buyback authorization by $300 million.
Andrés Gluski, president and chief executive officer of the company said, "In the fourth quarter of 2011, we undertook a new strategy to drive operating performance and profitability...We remain strongly dedicated to continuing to implement our strategy to meet our commitments to shareholders."
In the fourth quarter of 2012, income from continuing operations attributable to the company rose to $229 million or $0.31 per share from $139 million $0.18 per share in the previous year.
On an adjusted basis, earnings for the recent quarter were $0.32 per share, while the company posted $0.23 per share last year. On average, seven analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to earn $0.30 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Total revenues grew to $4.64 billion from $4.18 billion in the prior year, which also came above analysts' estimate of $4.10 billion.
During the year 2012, the company reduced general and administrative expenses by $90 million, exceeding its $65 million cost savings target by 38 percent. AES added that it is on track to achieve $145 million in savings by 2014.
For full-year 2013, the company expects adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $1.24 to $1.32. Analysts expect the company to report earnings of $1.27 per share for the year.
"We continue to expect 4% to 6% average annual EPS capital growth, which combined with our current dividend yield, is in line with our 6% to 8% three-year total return expectations through 2015," said Tom O'Flynn, executive vice president and chief financial officer.
AES stated that it completed construction of 447 MW of installed capacity during 2012. It is on schedule to complete an additional 2,181 MW of capacity under construction, which is expected to come on-line through 2015.
AES closed Tuesday's regular trading at $10.95 on the NYSE.
by RTT Staff Writer
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