Duke Energy (DUK) reported weaker-than-expected second-quarter profits on Wednesday as it continued to struggle with demand from its commercial customers and faced high restructuring expenses.  

The Charlotte, N.C.-based utility, which uses coal, natural gas and nuclear plants to generate electricity for its customers, reported net earnings of $342 million, or 48 cents, down from a year-earlier profit of $448 million, or 99 cents.

Excluding one-time items, Duke said it earned 87 cents, below the 94 cents predicted by analysts in a Thomson Reuters poll.

Operating revenues for the three months ended June 30 was $5.88 billion, up from $3.57 billion a year ago, beating the Street’s view of $5.73 billion.

“We continue making progress with our near-term priorities, positioning Duke Energy for long-term financial and operational success,” the company’s chief executive, Lynn Good, said in a statement.

The gains were led by strong performance in its franchise business, which saw adjusted income rise to $590 million from $337 million a year ago on higher rates and lower expenses. However, demand among its big corporate clients remained soft and weighed heavily on commercial sales.

Duke reaffirmed its 2013 adjusted earnings guidance in the range of $4.20 to $4.45 a share, in line with the consensus view of $4.33.

Shares of the utility were down about a half a point in recent trade to $70.77.

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