FirstEnergy Corp. told investors Tuesday that it will continue to cut costs, including eliminating 250 positions, cutting employee medical and other benefits, and changing pension funding.
That's on top of the 380 job cuts already announced as the Akron, Ohio-based company shutters its Hatfield's Ferry and Mitchell coal power plants. The shutdowns in Masontown, Greene County, and in Courtney, Washington County, are expected to come in October.
On Tuesday, the energy company reported a net loss of $164 million, or 39 cents per share, during the second quarter, down from a profit of $188 million, or 45 cents per share, during the same three months last year.
CEO Tony Alexander told analysts on a conference call that the cuts to staffing and benefits are expected to shed $150 million to $200 million in operating expenses.
Layoffs and voluntary separations could come in the next few months. FirstEnergy indicated in its report it expects to incur about $3 million in "severance related expenses" in the third quarter.
Mr. Alexander also noted about $375 million will be saved by canceling or delaying capital investments for other generation plants, and he highlighted the company's strategy to lean heavily on its regulated businesses for predictable and strong returns.
The largest contributor to FirstEnergy's second quarter loss, at $339 million, was the company's competitive energy services arm. Meanwhile, its regulated businesses, distribution utilities and transmission operations brought in a combined $230 million in net income.
Total revenue was $3.5 billion for the quarter, compared to $3.8 billion last year.
The future looks brighter, Mr. Alexander said, as the economy continues its slow creep out of the woods.
"I think the bottom is behind us," he told analysts. Growth in electric demand is particularly robust in areas with shale activity and from steel mills that make pipe.
Anya Litvak: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1455