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PPL 1Q Profit Up 64% On Prior-Year Charges, Higher Margins

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES PPL Corp.'s (PPL) first-quarter profit jumped 64% on higher prior-year unusual items, while adjusted earnings easily topped analysts' expectations although revenue declined more than expected. The operator of utilities and power plants used the proceeds from the sale of interests in a few power plants to funds its acquisition of two Kentucky utilities owned by the German holding company E.ON AG (EONGY, EOAN.XE). The deal, which closed last year, helped PPL increase its exposure to regulated power markets. PPL posted a profit of $410 million, or 82 cents a share, up from $250 million, or 66 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding litigation expenses and other impacts, earnings from ongoing operations fell to 84 cents from 94 cents. Revenue slid 3.2% to $2.91 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a profit of 73 cents on revenue of $2.97 billion. Operating margin increased to 27.7% from 15.8%. Shares of PPL, which reaffirmed its full-year earnings outlook, closed Wednesday at $27.56 and were inactive premarket. -By John Kell, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2480; john.kell@dowjones.com

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