CEZ’s preliminary unconsolidated 2000 CAS profits, released yesterday, were better than the market and we expected. Although the company’s total CAS revenues decreased by 1.5% to CZK 58,753 mil. in 2000, operating profit increased to CZK 11,875 mil. from CZK 9,592 mil. in 1999. Lower financial and extraordinary expenses then further contributed to a 170% net profit increase, to CZK 5,846 mil. This corresponds approximately to a net IAS profit of CZK 7,300 mil., which is at the higher end of market expectations (Reuters’ consensus stands at CZK 7,100 mil.). CEZ will release detailed IAS results in March. In addition, the management is ready to propose to shareholders that a dividend be paid out of the year-2000 profit (CEZ indicated a range of CZK 2-3 dividend per share). The stock gained 3% upon the publication of the earnings. We reiterate our short- and long-term buy recommendation for CEZ.