Industrial customers boost Entergy profit

The manufacturing renaissance underway in Texas and Louisiana helped boost New Orleans-based Entergy Corp.’s second-quarter earnings to $189.4 million, or $1.05 per share, compared to $163.7 million, or 92 cents per share, a year ago.

Strong demand from industrial customers and solid performance from the company’s wholesale nuclear power business helped drive results, Entergy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Leo Denault said.

The refining, chemicals and small industrial segments, with help from plant expansions, led the industrial increase, according to Entergy. Growth in the areas serviced by Entergy Texas Inc. and Entergy Gulf States Louisiana LLC, which serves the Baton Rouge region, accounted for about 85 percent of the 5.3 percent increase in industrial power sales.

Entergy also said since June, the company has signed economic development projects totaling roughly 100 megawatts. One megawatt is enough electricity to power 1,000 homes.

Still, the company’s performance didn’t quite meet Wall Street analysts’ expectations. Stock analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast earnings of $1.15 per share on revenue of $2.94 billion. Entergy reported revenue of $3 billion.

Entergy’s stock dropped $1.36, or 1.8 percent, to $74.99.

Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.