Calpine posts $295 million profit, but lower earnings guidance

Houston-based Calpine reported a $295 million profit for the third quarter, but the power generator still didn’t rake in as much money during the hot summer as hoped.

As such, Calpine lowered it earnings guidance for the year. Calpine President and Chief Executive Thad Hill still touted the company’s progress in a depressed power market, especially in Texas, with thin profit margins.

“Ultimately, we believe our unique wholesale power generation portfolio, complemented by a growing retail business, will generate strong cash flow returns for years to come,” Hill said, noting Calpine’s position as the nation’s leading generator of natural gas-fired electricity.

Calpine’s quarterly earnings come in as an improvement over the $273 million net gain during the same time last year. Also, Calpine’s revenues jumped to $2.36 billion from $1.95 billion a year ago.

Calpine’s net profit for the first nine months of 2016 is just $68 million, showing the slog of the first six months.

Hill also touted Calpine’s increased diversification, including the pending acquisition of San Diego-based Noble Americas Energy Solutions for about $900 million. Noble is one of the nation’s top retail electricity providers for industrial businesses and plants.

The move continues to boost the power generator’s retail electricity arm, which includes buying Houston-based Champion Energy last year. While Champion primarily sells electricity to households, Noble Americas focuses on commercial sales.

Noble is being sold by Asian commodities trading giant, Hong-Kong-based Noble Group, which is trying to reduce its debt.

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