New Orleans-based Entergy Corporation reported first-quarter earnings of $410.1 million, or $2.29 per share, compared with $167.7 million, or 94 cents per share, a year ago.

Entergy handily beat stock analysts’ forecasts, thanks in large part to the cold winter and limited space in natural gas pipelines in the Northeast. Analysts surveyed by Zach’s Investment Research had forecast earnings of $2.11 per share.

“The story for first quarter results was net revenue,” said Entergy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Leo Denault. “The cold weather we experienced this past winter put stress on the power and gas systems, driving volatility and higher prices….”

Denault said the limitations on gas pipelines to the Northeast also provides a glimpse into the future for areas where supplies of power and fuel are limited because of market design issues and regulatory intervention.

The harsh winter also highlighted the value of Entergy’s nuclear power plants in that area, he added.