Duke Energy Corp (DUK) reported a 13% surge in earnings for the third quarter driven by higher retail electric sales volumes and income tax benefits. The results exceeded analysts’ expectations. Operating revenues rose 2% to $6.63 billion.
Net income increased 13% to $1.08 billion and earnings grew 11% to $1.51 per share. Adjusted EPS inched up 4% to $1.65. The adjusted results were higher than last year primarily due to higher retail electric sales volumes and income tax benefits, partially offset by higher storm restoration costs and share dilution.
Looking ahead into the full year 2018, the company narrowed its adjusted earnings guidance to the range of $4.65 to $4.85 per share from the previous estimate range of $4.55 to $4.85 per share.
For the third quarter, segment income from Electric Utilities and Infrastructure increased 14% helped by strong weather-normal retail volumes, more favorable weather, higher rider revenues, and lower income tax expense. The growth drivers also include contributions from the Duke Energy Progress (DEP) and Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC) North Carolina rate cases.
Segment income from Gas Utilities and Infrastructure declined 11% as growth from midstream investments offset by higher O&M expense. Segment loss from Commercial Renewables widened due to the impairment charge resulting from annual goodwill testing and true-ups of prior year estimates related to the Tax Act.
The company restored 3 million outages from Hurricanes Florence and Michael. In the Carolinas, over 1.8 million outages happened due to the Hurricane Florence. Due to the Hurricane Michael, over 1 million outages happened in the Carolinas and 70,000 outages in Florida.
Shares of Duke Energy opened higher on Friday and remained in the green territory. The stock has fallen over 6% in the past year and over 2% in the year so far.
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