Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) — American Electric Power Co. said that operating earnings for its barge unit fell 81 percent during the fourth quarter from a year ago as a drought lowered river levels and grain exports.

Operating earnings for AEP River Operations dropped to $4 million from $22 million a year earlier, Columbus, Ohio-based American Electric said in a statement today on P.R. Newswire.

To contact the reporter on this story: Julie Johnsson in Chicago at jjohnsson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jessica Resnick-Ault at jresnickault@bloomberg.net