(Attributes quotes on plant closure and his future to CEO Jim
* Earns $0.70/share ex items vs $0.64 expected
* Merger savings boost results: CEO
* Shares up 0.4 pct in morning trade
By Atossa Araxia Abrahamian
Feb 13 Duke Energy Corp reported its
second consecutive quarterly rise in profit on Wednesday
following its acquisition of rival Progress Energy last summer.
"We're in very strong position and have started to harvest
the savings that came about from the merger," CEO Jim Rogers
The largest power company in the United States said net
income for the fourth quarter was $586 million, or 62 cents per
share, compared with $333 million, or 65 cents per share, a year
Excluding special items, Duke earned 70 cents per share,
beating the analysts' average estimate of 64 cents.
In early February, the company retired Crystal River, a
damaged nuclear power plant in Florida, because of rising repair
costs. [ID: nL1N0B635L]
"It was a difficult decision. We spent a significant amount
of time doing detailed technical and economic feasibility
studies. Based on those studies we believe the decision is in
the best interest of our customers and co-owners," said Rogers.
Rogers said the company had no definite plans yet to replace
the plant, but that it would favor a gas-fired combined plant
over other options.
The company also recently settled with North Carolina
regulators over a probe concerning the sudden resignation of
Progress Chief Executive Bill Johnson in the hours after the $18
billion Progress Energy deal closed in June. As part of the
settlement, Duke CEO Rogers will step down by the end of the
Rogers said that he hoped to keep working in the energy
industry after he left Duke - only this time, with a
"I want to bring electricity to the 1.3 billion people who
have no access to electricity in the world," Rogers said. "As
CEO of an energy company, might be a perfect mission for
The company said it would provide a business outlook for
2013 at an analyst meeting on February 28.
Duke shares were up 0.4 pct at $69.01 in early morning
(Reporting by Atossa Araxia Abrahamian; Editing by Lisa Von
Ahn, Nick Zieminski and Bob Burgdorfer)