FirstEnergy Earnings Call Insights: Balance Sheet Analysis and FES

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FirstEnergy Corp (NYSE:FE) recently reported its first quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Balance Sheet Analysis

Dan Eggers – Credit Suisse: Just following up on Tony’s comments and Leila’s comments about Harrison. Can you just maybe help us understand how important it is you think at this point in time to move that asset over from a balance sheet perspective relative to a customer benefit perspective? And then given kind of the wide or the low bid made in the intervenor testimony, how important it is to take a lower price or accept a lower price to get this done relative to keep in at FES if the pricing doesn’t makes sense?

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James F. Pearson – SVP and CFO: I’ll start off with that, Dan. Well, let me start off. I think the low price of the $565 million or whatever that’s just a nonstarter. So, I’ll leave that at that. From a balance sheet perspective, we think we are in pretty good shape by getting the FirstEnergy Corp. bond deal done where we upsize to $1.5 billion. We also feel that we’re in very good position with the hydro asset sales. So, we feel real comfortable about that. And as you know, we plan to infuse equity from FirstEnergy down into Mon Power associated with this asset transfer. If the asset transfer doesn’t go forward, we would likely infuse that equity that we have planned for Mon Power down into FES. So, I think we end up at a good position for the balance sheet there at FES.

Anthony J. Alexander – President and CEO: Dan, this is Tony. As I’m looking at this, I think, this is far more important to West Virginia and Mon Power in terms of providing them with a stable and long-term resource that they can rely on than it is at this point from a balance sheet standpoint at FES or at FirstEnergy.

Dan Eggers – Credit Suisse: But if it didn’t transfer, you’d feel comfortable keeping that extra capacity at FES?

Anthony J. Alexander – President and CEO: Absolutely. It’s a great asset. So that’s not a consideration…

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