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Edison International’s (EIX - Analyst Report) adjusted earnings of 79 cents per share for the second quarter of 2013 were well ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 66 cents by 19.7% and the year-ago quarterly earnings of 56 cents by 41.1%.

The beneficial results were driven by a robust operating performance from Southern California Edison (“SCE”). This was attributable to higher authorized investment in its electric grid infrastructure and favorable tax benefits.

On a reported basis, the company incurred a loss of 29 cents per share compared with earnings of 22 cents in the year-ago period.

Operational Highlights

Edison International's second quarter revenue was $3,046.0 million, up 14.8% year over year. The top line also exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,557.0 million by 19.1%.

Operations and maintenance expenses inched up 1.7% year over year to $967.0 million. Total operating expenses were $2,140 million, up 39.6% year over year.

Segment Results

Southern California Edison’s second quarter adjusted earnings boosted 42.4% to 84 cents per share from 59 cents earned in the year-ago quarter. The results were driven by timing and tax benefits from incremental repair deductions and lower operating expenses.

Effective Dec 17, 2012, Edison International no longer consolidates the earnings and losses of Edison Mission Energy (“EME”) due to EME filing voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. EME and its subsidiaries retain control of their assets and are authorized to operate their businesses as debtors-in-possession under the jurisdiction of the Bankruptcy Court.

Edison International has recorded a full impairment of the investment in EME as a result of deconsolidation, recognition of losses previously deferred in accumulated other comprehensive income, a provision for losses from the EME bankruptcy, and estimated tax impact related to the expected future tax deconsolidation and separation of EME from Edison International. Results for Edison Mission Energy are reported as non-core discontinued operations.

Edison International's parent company and other segment digested a quarterly loss of 5 cents per share in the reported quarter versus a loss of 3 cents in the year-ago quarter.

Financial Update

As of Jun 30, 2013, cash and cash equivalents were $148.0 million, down from $170 million as of Dec 31, 2012. Long-term debt was $9,630.0 million (including current portion), up from $9,231 million at the end of Dec 31, 2012. Net cash provided by operating activities during the first half of the year was $1,261.0 million versus $1,160.0 million in the year-earlier period.

Guidance

The company maintained its core earnings per share guidance in the range of $3.25 to $3.45 for 2013. However, it has updated its basic earnings to $2.22 to $2.42 per share from the previous $2.01 - $2.59 range.

Peer Results

Recently, diversified utility, NiSource Inc. (NI - Analyst Report) posted net operating earnings of 23 cents per share in the second quarter of 2013, a penny or 4.2% lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Earnings were however 4.5% higher than the year-ago quarter.

Zacks Rank

Edison International presently retains a short-term Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Stocks worth considering are Atlantic Power Corporation (AT - Snapshot Report) and Huaneng Power International, Inc. (HNP - Snapshot Report), both with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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