Consolidated Edison Co. (NYSE: ED – $60.33) reported a profit of $172 million, equal to $0.59 a share, down from $214 million, or $0.73 a share, a year earlier on total operating revenue of $2.82 billion, an increase of 1.7%. Analysts had projected earnings of $0.57 a share and revenue of $2.85 billion. Revenue from the electric business – Con Ed’s largest top-line generator by far – slid 3.4%. Gas and steam revenues, however, rose 22% and 42%, respectively. Non utility revenue improved 6%; operating expenses were up 5.9%; and net interest expense declined by 1.3%. Con Ed, which serves the New York metropolitan area as well as portions of New Jersey and Pennsylvania through its Orange & Rockland Division, has requested a base rate increase totaling $443 million for all its operations, which includes electric, gas and steam. The New York State Public Service Commission is expected to rule on the request by the end of this year, with new rates to go into effect in January 2014. The shares, yielding 4.1%, are a solid holding for conservative income-minded investors.