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Energy company FPL Group Inc. (FPL-OLD) Wednesday reported adjusted net earnings of $1.38 per share for the third quarter of 2009, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.39 and above $1.25 reported last year. The improvement from last year’s results was due to positive contributions from FPL’s NextEra Energy Resources subsidiary, offset by a decline in customer base at the Florida Power & Light subsidiary.

Total revenue during the quarter declined to $4,473 million from $5,387 million a year ago. Revenue at Florida Power & Light Company declined 3.6% year-over-year to $3,301 million, primarily due to the economic challenges faced at Florida. NextEra Energy Resources’ revenue in the quarter was down 40.7% from last year at $1,136 million, due to unfavorable market conditions for the company’s fossil power plants in Texas and below normal wind resource across the fleet.

At Florida Power & Light Company, the total number of customers continued to decline in the quarter, although at a slower pace. The company had approximately 9,000 fewer customers during the quarter than a year ago, while the number of inactive accounts rose 4,000 from the last quarter. Retail kilowatt-hour sales increased 0.4% over the last quarter, primarily as a result of warmer weather.

Today, the company announced the commissioning of DeSoto Next Generation Solar Energy Center, the largest solar photovoltaic power plant in the country. The 25 megawatt (MW) plant will produce electricity to serve about 3,000 homes, or 20% of DeSoto County. The company expects to have 110 MW of installed solar capacity by late 2010.

NextEra Energy Resources continued to make progress on its wind development program during the quarter. The company has 985 MW of wind projects either completed or under construction and has agreed to acquire an additional 185 MW of existing wind projects. Including the pending acquisition, the company now expects to add 1,170 MW of wind power in 2009.

FPL Group lowered its adjusted earnings guidance given the challenging market environment for the company's Texas merchant assets and the continued economic uncertainty in Florida. It now expects earnings in the range of $4.10-$4.20 per share for 2009, down from a range of $4.20-$4.40 per share previously. For 2010, the company expects earnings of $4.25-$4.85 per share versus the previous range of $4.65-$5.05 per share.

Source: FPL Group Q3: Profits Rise