NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Entergy Corp. says it plans to cut 800 jobs -- nearly one-third of them in Louisiana, where the bulk of its employees live.

Spokesman Chanel Lagarde says the layoffs have begun and should be completed by the end of the year.

He says about 160 jobs are in the New Orleans area and another 80 statewide. That's about 6 percent of Entergy's metro-area jobs and 5 percent statewide. Louisiana layoffs make up 30 percent of the total.

Entergy Corp. said its second-quarter net income dropped 55 percent, weighed down by higher expenses and absent a favorable tax ruling received during the prior-year period.

The New Orleans-based utility also said Tuesday that it is cutting about about 5 percent of its workforce of 15,000. It says that the job cuts are part of a reorganization plan aimed at saving $200 million to $250 million by 2016.

Entergy earned $163.7 million, or 92 cents per share, for the three months ended June 30. That compares with $365 million, or $2.06 per share, a year earlier.

The year-ago period included favorable tax terms on financing costs for fixing damage to lines and equipment caused by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Entergy realized a gain of $122 million as a result of the tax ruling.

Stripping out certain items tied to the utilities and wholesale commodities segments, earnings were $1.01 per share.

Analysts polled by FactSet predicted higher earnings of $1.15 per share.

Utility earnings fell mostly because of a much large income tax expense. Depreciation expense and non-fuel operation and maintenance expense also rose. Wholesale commodities earnings declined mostly because of lower revenue and increased decommissioning expense.

Operating revenue climbed 9 percent to $2.74 billion from $2.52 billion, beating Wall Street's $2.62 billion estimate. Utility revenue rose partly on higher prices and the absence of a regulatory charge.

Entergy Corp. reiterated its 2013 earnings outlook of $4.60 to $5.40 per share. Analysts expect $4.96 per share.

Shares fell 39 cents to $70.18 in midday trading. They have traded in a 52-week range of $61.09 to $74.50 over the past year.


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