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Entergy issues preliminary Q1 earnings guidance

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. expects first-quarter earnings of around $2.28 per share, well above the 94 cents recorded in a year ago and stock analysts' $1.15 forecast.

The company said in a news release on Tuesday the increase was driven by higher results at Entergy Wholesale Commodities and Utility. The commodities segment benefited from "significantly" higher wholesale electricity prices, thanks to cold winter weather and the limited capacity of natural gas pipelines to the Northeast.

Entergy said those limitations reinforce the need for a diverse generation portfolio and the value of existing nuclear power plants in the region.

The utility segment also saw higher earnings as a result of colder-than-normal temperatures.

Entergy also raised its 2014 earnings forecast to $5.55 to $6.75 per share.

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