If Entergy had an Entergizer bunny for a mascot, it would stay fully charged (with a safe, radioactive glow). The integrated utility holding company's subsidiaries distribute electricity to 2.8 million customers in four southern states (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas) and provide natural gas to 191,000 customers in Louisiana. Entergy operates more than 15,500 miles of high-voltage transmission lines and 1,550 transmission substations. In addition, the company has interests in regulated and nonregulated power plants in North America that have a combined generating capacity of about 30,000 MW. An advocate of nuclear power, Entergy is one of the largest nuclear power generators in the US.
In 2011 the company reported a 2% drop in revenues, mainly due to regulatory changes in charges (which led to a drop in utility income from residential users) as well as a lower prices for power sales by its competitive businesses. However, it did post an almost 8% growth in net income in 2011 thanks to lower operating expenses, lower interest expenses, and lower income taxes.
The company has increased its generating capacity (to support its utilities and its marketing and trading operations) through domestic nuclear plant acquisitions. In 2007 Entergy acquired Consumers Energy's 798 MW Palisades Nuclear Plant in Michigan for $380 million.
Entergy has also been focused on new plant construction. In 2007, it received one of the first early site permits in the US from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a possible new nuclear unit at the Grand Gulf site in Mississippi. It was also the first company to submit (in 2008) two combined Construction and Operating Licenses for new nuclear plants at two different sites -- at Grand Gulf and at River Bend Station near St. Francisville, Louisiana. However, the Japanese nuclear accident in 2011 forced the US nuclear industry to pause and take stock of its existing plants and future development plans.
To generate shareholder return, Entergy has pursued a spinoff of its non-utility nuclear businesses from its regulated utility nuclear segment. However, it received a major setback in 2010 when the New York Public Service Commission rejected the plan, concerned at the debt load of the proposed new company.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Growing its traditional wholesale power portfolio, in 2011 Entergy bought a 583-MW power plant located in Johnston, Rhode Island, from a unit of NextEra Energy, for about $346 million. It also bought Unit 2 of the Acadia Energy Center, a 580 MW generating plant in Louisiana, from an independent power producer for $300 million.
In a move to raise cash and to focus on its core utility and power generation businesses, in 2011 the company agreed to merge its electric transmission business into ITC Holdings to create a leading transmission enterprise with more than 30,000 miles of lines.
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