Independent power producer NRG Energy Inc posted higher second-quarter earnings, helped by the acquisition of Reliant Energy's Texas retail business and a tax gain on the sale of its equity stake in Mibrag.

Net income for the quarter was $433 million, or $1.56 a share, compared with $127 million, or 48 cents a share, last year.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 75 cents a share, before special items, according to Reuters Estimates.

NRG said Reliant Energy's Texas retail business, which it acquired in March, contributed $233 million in after-tax income in its first two months of ownership.

The company also benefited from a $128 million after-tax gain on the sale of its 50 percent equity interest in Mibrag in February.

Shares of NRG, which was the target of a hostile takeover bid by Exelon Corp, closed at $26.48 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.