By Dow Jones Business News,
February 18, 2014, 03:02:00 PM EDT
By Ben Fox Rubin
Duke Energy Corp. said its fourth-quarter earnings rose 58%, helped by strength in its regulated utilities and
The company said Tuesday it achieved lower costs through synergies from the 2012 merger with Progress Energy and
recovered infrastructure costs through higher customer rates.
Duke, based in Charlotte, N.C., controls utilities that serve more than seven million customers in the Carolinas,
Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The company expanded significantly with the addition of Progress Energy.
The company also has been upgrading its fleet of power plants and had been expecting improved results as it
implements customer rate increases and benefits from cost savings from the Progress Energy integration.
Separately on Tuesday, Duke Energy in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission warned it plans to take
an estimated pretax impairment charge of $1 billion to $2 billion in the current quarter.
The charge is tied to the company's decision to exit its Midwest commercial generation business, as Duke said the
fleet of power plants it plans to sell off has a value that is below current book value.
For the latest quarter,Duke Energy reported a profit of $688 million, or 97 cents a share, up from $435 million, or
62 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding special items, earnings were $1 a share, up from 70 cents a share. Analysts
polled by Thomson Reuters expected 95 cents a share.
The company's regulated utilities segment, formerly known as U.S. franchised gas and electric, reported adjusted
income rose 22% to $607 million, helped by lower operating and maintenance expenses and increased pricing and riders.
Adjusted profit at the international energy segment improved by 21% to $108 million.
The commercial-power business posted an adjusted loss of $3 million, compared with break-even results a year
For the new year, the company predicted adjusted per-share earnings of $4.45 to $4.60, in-line with analyst
estimates of $4.57 a share.
John Kell contributed to this article.
Write to Ben Fox Rubin at email@example.com
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