How Does CH Energy Count Its Money? (CHG)

Print Email

Will the last one out the door please turn out the lights? Apparently all of CH Energy Group’s (NYSE:CHG) employees are following that advice. The company reported EPS of $0.18 for the third quarter this morning, down a third from the same period last year. The company’s president and CEO, Steven Lant, said the downturn was the "continuation of recent trends."

Those trends include high commodity costs, along with customers usingless electricity and forgetting to pay their bills. The company expectsto meet full-year projections, but cautioned that "if economicconditions deteriorate significantly, our earnings could be furtherimpacted."

Year-to-date EPS totals $1.51, and the company reiterated its guidanceat $2.02-$2.27 EPS for the full year. Lant noted that the forecastsales total "far exceeds actual sales," and that expected mild weatherwill further hurt sales. Together, these two items are expected todepress EPS by about $0.76.

So, why didn’t the company lower its guidance? Something doesn’t add uphere. In any event, traders will probably do the math on their owntoday.

This stock closed at $40.27 Friday and its 52-week trading range is$33.39 to $48.92.  Its average volume is only about 88,000 shares, butyou have to wonder what holders are thinking here.

Paul Ausick
October 27, 2008