First-quarter profit rose 62 percent at Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. as it sold more electricity at higher prices, the company said today.

The Newark company, New Jersey's largest electric utility, said its net income rose to $329 million, or $1.30 a share, from $203 million, or 81 cents a share, in last year's quarter.

Revenue rose 4.4 percent to $3.61 billion.

The company is the parent of Public Service Electric & Gas Co., which had increased demand for electricity compared with last year's first quarter. The higher volume represented 3 cents per share improvement in earnings. Also, a November 2006 rate hike added 9 cents to earnings, and cold weather added 6 cents, the company said.

The utility supplies electricity to 2.1 million homes and businesses statewide and natural gas to 1.7 million.

As a result of the strong quarterly results, the company said it is on target to meet its recently increased forecast for 2007 operating earnings of $4.90 to $5.30 per share. The mid-point in the forecast would be a 37 percent increase from last year's operating earnings.

Public Service shares rose $1.99 to $89.74 this morning on the New York Stock Exchange.