Exelon plans 22% growth in capacity

By Reuters
Posted March 9 at 5:43 p.m.

Exelon Corp., the largest U.S. nuclear power plant operator, expects to invest 22 percent more this year, giving an outlook on Wednesday for 2011 capital expenditure of $4.05 billion.

That compares with the average analyst capex estimate of $3.93 billion and a 2010 figure of $3.33 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Exelon also gave a profit outlook that lines up with its previous guidance, with first-quarter earnings expected to be between $1.00 to $1.10 per share and 2011 earnings of $3.90 to $4.20 per share.

The company said in January it expects to generate $4.3 billion in cash from operations in 2011.

Prior to the release of the capex guidance, Exelon shares rose 3 percent on Wednesday to close at $43.27, its highest level in the past month.

Earlier on Wednesday, Chief Executive John Rowe had told an industry conference he expected cheap natural gas would reduce pollution from the electric power industry.

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