Shattuck: Constellation enjoying 'quiet summer' before merger review begins

Constellation Energy, preparing for regulatory review of its proposed merger with Chicago-based Exelon Corp., saw earnings per share rise by a third during the three months that ended June 30.

Constellation reported net income of $99.2 million, or 49 cents per share, for the second quarter, up from $72.6 million, or 36 cents per share, for the same quarter last year.

But the Baltimore company also lowered its 2011 earnings guidance range by 5 cents, to between $3.05 and $3.35 per share, because of longer-than-expected outages in its nuclear facilities as well as the impact of recent acquisitions.

Constellation has stopped providing earnings guidance for 2012 because of the pending merger.

Constellation President and CEO Mayo A. Shattuck III said the company has taken a very different approach to its proposed acquisition by Exelon than for past offers.

"It's fair to say it's been a very quiet summer," Shattuck said Wednesday in response to a question during an earnings call about discussions with Maryland leaders about the deal.

As part of the $7.9 billion deal, the two companies have offered $250 million in incentives, including a $100 credit to residential Baltimore Gas and Electric customers.

"The talk and debate has been largely around an offer we made up front that I think has been very well received by most of our constituencies," he said.

Constellation spent the past quarter focused on completing the required regulatory filings for the deal to sell itself to Exelon, Shattuck said.

Officials expect to complete important milestones in the last half of the year and to start receiving approvals from state and federal stakeholders through early 2012, Shattuck said.

Once federal securities regulators have accepted merger documents, he said, they will schedule a shareholder meeting, likely in the third or early fourth quarter.

Shattuck said he was not expecting debate about the merger to resume until hearings before the Maryland Public Service Commission begin in November, but that the "mix of things" in the original offer had been well received.

"We're hopeful once we get into the debate at the PSC that it all proceeds pretty well and is recognized," he said.


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