WELCOME BACK, WINTER: Duke Energy's first-quarter results got a lift from a healthy dose of winter weather and higher retail electric rates. The largest U.S. utility posted earnings of $634 million for the first quarter, or 89 cents per share, on revenue of $5.90 billion. Adjusted to remove one-time items, Duke earned $1.02 per share, a penny shy of what analysts had expected.
TOUGH SLEDDING ABROAD: Duke's overseas operations slipped because light rainfall meant hydroelectric plants in Brazil couldn't produce as much electricity. U.S. wholesale power operations also suffered, because prices fell.
BRIGHTER TIMES TO COME: Duke CFO Lynn Good said a rising number of new residential customers suggest a pickup in the housing markets in the Carolinas, Florida and Indiana. She also said electric sales to industrial customers inched up and that she expects stronger growth later this year.