Duke Energy Swings to Quarterly Profit, Topping Street

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) said Tuesday that it swung to a second-quarter profit over a loss last year as sales in its biggest gas and electric business grew on new investments and toppled Wall Street estimates.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based electricity and natural gas distributor booked net income of $441 million, or 33 cents a share, compared with a year-ago loss of $217 million, or 17 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

The results were compared with the 2010 period that faced hefty impairment charges of $660 million. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expected earnings this year of just 31 cents a share.

Revenue for the three months ended June 30 was $3.5 billion, up from $3.3 billion a year ago, beating the Streets view of $3.31 billion.

The companys largest business segment by revenue, the U.S. franchised electric and gas business, saw earnings grow to $59 million from a year-ago loss in part due to new generation investment in the Carolinas and Indiana, which helped offset less favorable weather and higher operations costs.

Our second quarter results continue the positive momentum created by all of our business units in the first three months of the year, Duke CEO James Rogers said in a statement. Traditionally, our third quarter is the most significant and we are focused to ensure we are fully prepared to safely, reliably and efficiently meet customers' energy needs.

Duke said it remains on track to achieve its fiscal guidance in the range of $1.35 to $1.40 a share, which is in line with analyst estimates of $1.37 a share.