NextEra profit rises on growing power investments

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July 23 (Reuters) - NextEra Energy Inc (NEE.N) on Friday reported a quarterly adjusted profit that slighty exceeded Wall Street forecasts thanks to growing investments in new power infrastructure by its Florida utilities and energy development arm.

The company, which has expanded aggressively into wind and solar power over the last decade, has experienced a surge in investor interest as governments and corporations increasingly move away from fossil fuels. NextEra also owns substantial natural gas, transmission, energy storage and nuclear assets.

The company's adjusted earnings of $1.395 billion were a 8% higher than a year ago. Earnings per share of $0.71 were a penny above analysts' average estimate, according to Refinitiv data.

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NextEra shares were up 0.5% to $76.55 on the New York Stock Exchange. Last year NextEra briefly topped ExxonMobil (XOM.N) as the largest U.S. energy firm by market value.

Its energy development business, NextEra Energy Resources, added 1,840 megawatts (MW) of renewables and storage projects to its backlog in the second quarter.

Adjusted earnings at NextEra Energy Resources rose 7% from a year ago to $574 million. On a net basis, however, it posted a loss of $315 million that executives attributed primarily to marking certain economic hedges to market.

The unit will sell 590 megawatts of wind and solar assets to NextEra Energy Partners (NEP.N), a separate company that owns contracted energy assets. The $563 million deal will include 80 MW of distributed solar, a sector in which NextEra executives said the company would triple investments through 2024.

NEP earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization fell by $22 million due to weaker wind and solar resources during the quarter, the company said. Wind resources were 93% of the long-term average during the quarter, down from 100% a year ago.

The company's stock was down about 1% at $74.02 in mid-day trading.

On a call with analysts, executives dismissed concerns about rising costs tied to global supply chain squeezes, saying the company has "locked in" the equipment it needs through next year and beyond and is benefiting from its massive supply chain.

New investments in Florida Power & Light (FPL), its largest utility business, helped the unit add an average of 78,400 customers and increase profit by 9.4% in the second quarter.

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Reporting by Nichola Groom and Shariq Khan; Editing by Ramakrishnan M. and David Evans

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