Activist investor Elliott has stake in Duke Energy - source

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The company logo and ticker for Duke Energy Corp. is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 4, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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May 10 (Reuters) - Activist investor Elliott Management owns a stake in Duke Energy Corp (DUK.N) and is pushing the U.S. utility company to add directors to its board, a person familiar with the matter said on Monday.

Elliott may also urge Duke Energy to sell some assets or make operational improvements to boost its stock price, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier in the day, citing sources.

Duke, which provides electricity to 7.8 million customers in six states, has been in talks with Elliott, the Journal said.

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Elliott declined to comment on the matter.

Duke Energy also declined to comment, but said it had made strong progress over the last year, settling rate cases and coal ash litigation and accelerating its clean energy transformation.

It reached an agreement in January with the North Carolina Attorney General and others on costs related to coal ash management and safe basin closure.

Earlier on Monday, Duke Energy reported a better-than-expected profit and reiterated its 2021 adjusted earnings forecast range of $5.00 per share to $5.30 per share.

Its shares rose as much as 7.1% to a record high of $108 before paring gains to trade around $104.

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Reporting by Rithika Krishna in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni

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