ENERGY

Hurricanes Hurt Dominion's Results

Dominion Resources said third-quarter earnings plunged 96 percent, as hurricanes Katrina and Rita cut production of oil and natural gas. Profit at the Richmond parent of Dominion Virginia Power fell to $15 million (4 cents a share), from $337 million ($1.02) in the comparable period last year. Sales rose 39 percent, to $4.56 billion, as hot weather bolstered sales of power to run air conditioners. The results were released after the close of regular trading on U.S. markets.

Dominion incurred $358 million in costs primarily from the hurricanes because it had to write off the difference between the hedged price of fuel and the higher market price resulting from lost output. Excluding hurricane costs and other one-time items, the company profit was $373 million, or $1.08 a share.

The company cut its estimate of 2005 earnings to $4.11 to $4.21 a share from its previous forecast of $5 to $5.10, made in December.

LEGAL

Brink's May Owe for Customs Duties

Brink's, provider of armored-truck and home-security services, said one of its non-U.S. businesses failed to pay foreign customs duties and value-added taxes on some imported goods and services in 2004 and may face civil and criminal penalties. The unit is in discussions with the appropriate authorities and has made payments covering the unpaid taxes, Richmond-based Brink's said. The penalties for unpaid value-added taxes are likely to be $400,000 to $3 million, and Brink's has saved $400,000 to cover the penalties, the company said. Custom duty penalties may range from nothing to about $35 million, Brink's said. Brink's also said third-quarter profit rose to $65.8 million, from $38.1 million in the comparable quarter a year earlier. Revenue rose 16 percent, to $1.39 billion.

USEC, a Gaithersburg company that enriches uranium for nuclear power plants, said third-quarter revenue grew 65 percent from the comparable period last year, to $421 million, but losses grew because of the continuing high costs of developing its new American Centrifuge reprocessing technology. The company lost $5.2 million (6 cents a share), compared with a loss of $2.3 million (3 cents).

Interstate Hotels & Resorts of Arlington, a hotel management company, earned $5.4 million (17 cents a share) in the third quarter, compared with a loss of $300,000 (1 cent). Revenue increased 27 percent, to $303.1 million, with the company citing higher management fee revenue, purchase of the Hilton Concord in the San Francisco Bay area and strong performance of its corporate housing subsidiary. The company exceeded its earnings guidance for the quarter and raised its full-year guidance.

Foundation Coal Holdings of Linthicum Heights, Md., earned $21.2 million (46 cents a share) in the third quarter, compared with a loss of $5.9 million (13 cents) when full-quarter results from holdings it bought are incorporated. Revenue from coal sales was $333.5 million, a 33 percent increase. Shares closed at $37.60, up 2.3 percent.

SRA International, a Fairfax-based government information technology provider, said profit rose 16 percent, to $14.4 million (25 cents a share) from $12.4 million (22 cents). Sales were $280.7 million, up 38 percent from $203.5 million. The company noted that the effect of counting stock options as an expense trimmed $1.8 million (3 cents) from its profit.

Sinclair Broadcast Group, the Hunt Valley, Md.-based owner of 60 U.S. television stations, said third-quarter profit surged to $31.6 million (37 cents a share) from $3.5 million (1 cent), helped by lower costs and a tax benefit. Sales declined 1 percent, to $165.8 million.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.