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First Energy Posts Loss to Restart Future

First Energy downtown Akron
First Energy Headquarters

Akron-based First Energy lost $6-point-2-billion last year as it began taking steps to get out of the competitive energy business and back into being a regulated utility.  

Charles Jones

Charles Jones
Credit First Energy website
First Energy website
First Energy CEO Charles Jones

Big financial hits came from the “writing-down”—recognizing on the books the lost value—of its failing power generation elements. CEO Chuck Jones told an investor conference call that the nuclear plants may even have to be scrapped. “Absent something to raise the value of these units and make them attractive to a buyer, there’s only one way for us to exit this business.”

He read a prepared statement about the company’s failing unregulated subsidiaries: First Energy Solutions, and First Energy Operating. “There remains the possibility that FES and potentially FENOC may seek bankruptcy protection, though no such decision has been made.”

But, Jones called 2016 a success in many ways.  Results in core, regulated businesses were good.  And much of the one-time heavy-lifting to refocus the company is done.