RadWaste Monitor Vol. 13 No. 20
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Article 6 of 11
May 15, 2020

Pilgrim Plant Sale Dents Entergy Earnings in First Quarter

By ExchangeMonitor

By John Stang

The 2019 sale of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Massachusetts drove a major revenue drop that put Entergy Wholesale Commodities’ income into the red for the first quarter of 2020, parent company Entergy Corp. said Monday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In the 10-Q filing, the New Orleans-based power company announced $2.427 billion in revenue for the quarter, leading to $118.7 million in net income. For the same period in 2019, Entergy posted $2.609 billion in total revenue, translating to $254.7 million in net income.

Entergy Wholesale Commodities owns nuclear power plants in Michigan and New York state, after completing the sale of the single-reactor Pilgrim facility last August to Holtec International. The company in coming years expects to sell the two remaining sites to the New Jersey energy technology specialist, for decommissioning and spent-fuel management.

The segment’s first-quarter revenue fell from $434 million in 2019 to $333 million in 2020, according to the SEC filing. Net income of $96.5 million for the business in the first quarter of 2019 was slashed to a net loss of $110.9 million for the same quarter in 2020. In a press release, Entergy attributed the change to lower revenue following Pilgrim’s retirement and losses on the trust funds that pay for decommissioning the reactors. However, fewer outage days from the company’s remaining reactors helped offset those losses due to more electricity being sold, its SEC filing says.

The company lost an additional $72.6 million elsewhere in the Entergy corporate family in the latest earnings period, and an extra $90.1 million elsewhere outside of EWC in the same period this year.

In anticipation of the COVID-19 pandemic affecting revenues this year, Entergy expects to cut its spending this year by $100 million, Chief Financial Officer Andrew Marsh said during a Monday teleconference with financial analysts. “Uncertainty exists regarding the full depth and length of the effects of COVID-19 on Entergy’s sales volume, revenue, collections and cash flows, expenses, liquidity, and capital needs,” according to its SEC filing.

Separately, Chicago-based power company Exelon filed its own quarterly earnings last week.

Exelon reported net income of $376 million on $4.4 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2020. By comparison, it reported net income of $966 million on $4.98 billion in revenue for the same period in 2019.

Exelon owns 22 power reactors at 13 locations in Illinois, Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania under its Exelon Generation subsidiary. Last September, it retired its reactor at the Three Mile Island plant near Harrisburg, Pa. A year before it shuttered the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in New Jersey, then in 2019 sold it to Holtec International for decommissioning.

So far, Exelon has not made any major COVID-19-related changes, but it is bracing for future impacts.

“While there were no material increases in the Registrants’ allowance for credit losses and no material impairments resulting from these assessments …   our future assessment of our current expectations at that time of the magnitude and duration of COVID-19, as well as other factors, could result in material impacts to our consolidated financial statements in future reporting periods, according to its own SEC filing.

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