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Duke Energy 4Q earnings slip on merger costs

The Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Duke Energy says profit fell slightly in the fourth quarter on costs related to the summer acquisition of Progress Energy and cost overruns at an Indiana coal-fired power plant.

Profit totaled 62 cents per share. A year ago, when Progress was still a separate company, the combined quarterly earnings were 65 cents per share.

Adjusted to remove the effect of the charges, Duke earned 70 cents per share. Analysts had expected the company to earn 65 cents per share on an adjusted basis.

Merger expenses reduced the company's earnings by 13 cents per share. Cost overruns at the Indiana coal plant cost the company 2 cents per share.

Duke's results were helped by higher regulated power prices and more extreme weather that increased demand for electricity.