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Profits up at Duke, down at Progress in final pre-merger quarter

Posted August 2, 2012

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— Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK) reported profit rose in the second quarter, the last period before its $17.8 billion purchase of Progress Energy Inc. made it the largest U.S. utility owner by market value.

In a separate report, Progress said profits fell to $80 million, or 27 cents per share, down from $211 million or 71 cents per share a year ago.

Net income for Duke was $444 million, or 99 cents a share, compared with $435 million, or 98 cents, a year earlier, Charlotte, North Carolina-based Duke said in a statement Thursday.

Profit rose as the rates paid by its customers in North Carolina and South Carolina for electricity increased, the company said in the statement.

Excluding merger-related costs and other one-time charges, per-share profit was 5 cents more than the 97-cent average of 13 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Duke’s acquisition of Raleigh-based Progress closed on July 2.

The company announced the next morning that it replaced Progress Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson with Duke CEO Jim Rogers, who was supposed to become executive chairman of the combined companies. The change triggered investigations by North Carolina regulators and the state’s attorney general.

In the Progress report, increased operating and management costs coupled with less demand for energy due to cooler temperatures were cited as reasons for the earnings decline.

In North Carolina, where Duke has most of its customers, the second quarter was the coolest in three years, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Weather-driven demand for cooling fell 9 percent from a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Weather was hotter than a year earlier in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky, where Duke sells power to 1.6 million homes and businesses, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company had 4 million power customers before the acquisition. It now has about 7.1 million, according to its website.

The earnings were released before regular trading began on U.S. markets. Duke fell 0.4 percent to $67.52 yesterday in New York. The shares have three buy, one sell and 17 hold ratings from analysts.

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  • lessismore Aug 2, 2012

    Obama has no plan.....he can only spread lies about Romney....that's his only plan.

  • dakg Aug 2, 2012

    I never thought this merger was going to be a good thing for the consumer and it appears I was right! We can only hope that after all the shinanigans Duke has pulled that the Commission puts the cabash on this merger once and for all!!!!!!!

  • Six String Aug 2, 2012

    Re pending merger: "It ain't over 'til it's over." -- Yogi Bera.

    Seeing as how the Duke board blatently lied about the CEO change for two weeks prior, I hope Yogi is right and the Commission recinds it's permission on the merger.

  • UNCfuturealumi Aug 2, 2012

    Their profits are up because of a huge increase in their rates. I live alone, in a 1180 sq ft house. I do not use a/c like the norm do. My electric bill went from $100.00 plus a few cents to $160.00 and a few cents in one month. Give me a break! Thaqt was better than a $60.00 increase and I still do not understand how a truck can ride pass my house and read my meter, going better than 45 mph.

  • nyncwork1 Aug 2, 2012

    Funny how rates weren't supposed to go up as a result of the merger but the very next bill after the merger my bill showed an huge increase in the amount I pay per kwh. my bill was the highest it has ever been in the 11 years I've lived at my current house. I compared usage/average daily temp/etc. The only thing that changes was the rate per kwh and it was significant enough for my bill to be $80 higher. the utilities commission made a huge mistake approving this merger

  • CastIronEgret Aug 2, 2012

    Our Duke Energy bill has been higher this year than last year, in spite of us not using AC for those couple of beautiful weeks in June, and last year was consistently hot all summer so we ran the AC the whole time. I'm thinking they're making more money because they're charging people higher bills.

  • internethwy39 Aug 2, 2012

    hmmm

  • fatchanceson Aug 2, 2012

    Progress/Duke energy customers... go ahead and get it over with... bend over a grab those ankles... Now... go to that safe place where no one can hurt you... that's right... it's gonna be ok...

  • SpaceRokr Aug 2, 2012

    If all these investors saw the Progress shortfalls coming, how can Duke claim to be surprised by Progress' liabilities, such as the Crystal River Plant repairs?

  • Taxpayingcitizen Aug 2, 2012

    "Profit rose as the rates paid by its customers in North Carolina and South Carolina for electricity increased, the company said in the statement." Wow... how blantant can you be? That is going to make paying this merged group each month all the more difficult!