Duke Energy’s First Quarter Profit surpasses Expectations
Duke Energy reported on Friday that its first quarter earnings were better than expected. It was a result of high demand triggered by harsh winter at the beginning of the year. The Charlotte-based utility company reported earnings of $1.24 a share for the three months that ended March 31. The figure was three months that ended March 31.
Rise in first quarter earnings also rose about 6% over the same period of the year. For the first quarter, revenue accounted for $6.06 billion, a 3.2% drop from the same period last year. It was also below the $6.3 billion analysts had estimated.
A $2.8 billion deal was struck by Duke Energy this spring to sell its interest in 11 power plants in the Midwest to Houston-based Dynegy. The strategy helped Duke Energy to buy back company stock by using $1.5 billion from the sale. Rest of the amount was used to pay down debt and for 2015 capital projects. Duke Energy is optimistic that the sale will increase its earnings per share within a year of the closing.
Benefits from wholesale capacity prices and energy margins came for the company in the first quarter. Macroeconomic headwinds in its Latin American unit caused partial offset in the company’s results.
Lynn Good, the company’s president and CEO, said that Duke Energy’s operational and financial performance in the first quarter is very pleasing.
“Our customers needed a record amount of electricity during the exceptionally cold weather in February, and we were there. We were also quick to respond during numerous winter storms that caused significant outages “, said Good in a statement.
Good told Reuters that their customers have been significantly benefitted by low natural gas prices.
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