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Exelon Reports Profit Increase on Higher Sales, Hedging Gain

07/29/2015 | 09:36am US/Eastern

Exelon Corp. said profit in its second quarter rose, thanks to higher sales and a hedging-related gain.

The Chicago-based power company has been expanding through acquisitions and is awaiting regulatory approval of its $6.8 billion takeover of Pepco Holdings Inc., which has faced opposition. The merger would boost Exelon's base by two million accounts to 10 million in five states and Washington, D.C., as electric utilities generally are attempting to adjust to sluggish sales.

On Wednesday, Exelon said it and Pepco have extended the deal's termination date to Oct. 29 from July 29.

For the latest quarter, Exelon reported a profit of $638 million, up from $522 million a year earlier. Per-share earnings rose to 74 cents from 60 cents. Excluding a gain from hedging activity, among other items, earnings per share increased to 59 cents from 51 cents.

Operating revenue grew 8.1% to $6.51 billion.

Analysts projected 54 cents in earnings per share and $5.73 billion in sales.

The company recorded a $143 million hedging-related gain in the quarter, after having taken an $8 million hedging-related hit in the second quarter last year. The gain added 16 cents to per-share earnings, whereas hedging activity shaved a penny off the prior-year period's result.

Weather was a mostly negative factor for the company, especially in its ComEd division.

Profit in that segment, which services nearly 4 million customers in Illinois and is the company's largest, declined 11% to $99 million. Heating-degree days fell 1.3% from a year earlier and were about 10% below normal, while cooling-degree days plunged 34% and were about 20% lower than normal. Weather-adjusted electrical deliveries edged 1.2% lower.

Meanwhile, profit at the company's PECO segment, which provides electricity and natural gas to about 2.1 million customers in southeastern Pennsylvania, slid 17%. Heating-degree days fell 16% from the year-ago period and were nearly 30% lower than normal, though cooling-degree days jumped 36.8% and were 47% above normal. Weather-normalized retail electric deliveries declined 0.7% while gas deliveries rose 1.6%.

In Exelon's BGE segment that serves the state of Maryland, profit increased to $44 million from $16 million a year before, as uncollectable accounts fell and distribution revenue rose on higher rates. Exelon said the unit's distribution revenue isn't affected by actual weather.

At Generation, profit grew 17%. Exelon credited fewer nuclear outage days and last year's Integrys acquisition for driving the increase.

Write to Lisa Beilfuss at lisa.beilfuss@wsj.com

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