NRG Energy posts 32% increase in third-quarter profit

NRG Energy on Wednesday posted a 32% year-on-year increase in third-quarter net profit to $182 million as revenue rose 31% to $4.57 billion.

The company, which dual-headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, and Houston, Texas, has recently beefed up its solar operations with the acquisition of Pure Energies, which added a leading web and telephonic-based customer acquisition platform to its NRG Home Solar unit as well as mobile solar startup Goal Zero, which extended NRG’s retail brand and offerings into personal solar devices.

The company’s Renewables segment, meanwhile, recorded third-quarter earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $88 million, $48 million higher than in the same period a year ago. NRG’s California Valley Solar Ranch (CVSR) and Ivanpah solar plant, which began commercial operations in late 2013 and early 2014, drove the Renewables segment’s improved performance, as did the addition of the Edison Mission Energy (EME) wind assets that contributed $23 million.

However, the company lowered its 2014 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) forecast from $3.2 to $3.4 billion to $3.1 to $3.2 billion due to a $50 million loss from NRG Home Solar.

Nevertheless, NRG said it continued to bolster the competitiveness and strategic positioning of NRG Home Solar through the Pure Energies acquisition, which it expects to significantly enhance the group’s customer acquisition platform by offering full service, point-to-point, customizable rooftop solutions through its proprietary web and telephonic-based system.

NRG said that combined with its prior acquisition of Roof Diagnostics Solar, a leading home solar direct sales and installation company, and NRG’s own solar leasing business, Residential Solar Solutions, NRG Home Solar was now a vertically integrated branded provider of residential solar solutions nationwide and well positioned to become a leader in the rapidly growing distributed generation market.

By year end 2015, NRG Home Solar expects to have 35,000-40,000 installed leases, of which it expects 25,000-30,000 to be installed in 2015, totaling approximately 245 MW-280 MW while driving cost per watt down to a range of $3.20-$3.30 per watt.

In retail, NRG said the acquisition of Goal Zero would allow the group to offer mobile solar products to all consumers, regardless of whether they owned homes suitable for rooftop installations.

Nine-month results

NRG’s nine-month net profit rose to $35 million from a loss of $62 million a year ago while revenue climbed 37% to $11.68 billion.