Consolidated Edison 4th-Quarter Net Up 13% on Lower Expenses

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By John Kell

Consolidated Edison Inc.'s ( ED ) fourth-quarter profit grew 13% as the utility cut expenses and reported higher gas revenue, though the top line declined for electric.

Looking ahead, the company sees 2014 profit between $3.65 to $3.85 a share, compared with the $3.74 projected by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

The utility, which serves the New York metropolitan area, had reported modest growth in the first three quarters of 2013, though the top line declined in the latest period.

The latest quarterly results comes after a New York state agency voted 5-0 to freeze ConEd's electricity and gas rates for millions of people. The plan approved by the Public Service Commission will hold electric charges steady for two years and natural gas charges for three years. ConEd had requested millions in rate increases for all of its operations, which includes electric, gas and steam.

ConEd reported a fourth-quarter profit of $234 million, or 79 cents a share, up from $207 million, or 70 cents a share, a year earlier. Total operating revenue slid 1.1% to $2.87 billion.

Analysts expected a profit of 66 cents on $2.99 billion in revenue.

Revenue from the electric business, which is ConEd's largest top-line generator, fell 2.3%. Revenue at the steam segment slid 11%, but grew for gas and non-utility.

Operating expenses were down 2.3%.

--Bill Sanderson contributed to this article

Write to John Kell at john.kell@wsj.com

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