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NRG Energy raising quarterly dividend by 33 pct.

PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) -- NRG Energy is raising its quarterly dividend by 33 percent to 12 cents per share.

The Princeton, N.J.-based power company said Friday that the dividend will be paid on May 15 to shareholders of record on May 1.

Earlier this month NRG Energy Inc. announced that it agreed to buy the Gregory cogeneration plant in Corpus Christi, Texas, for about $244 million. NRG is buying the plant from a group of affiliates of Atlantic Power Corp., John Hancock Life Insurance Co. (USA) and Rockland Capital LLC. The deal, which remains subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the third quarter.

In March, NRG Energy reported a loss of $209 million, or 92 cents per share, for its first quarter. That was narrower that the year-earlier loss, even as revenue slipped 7 percent, to $1.86 billion. The company said record temperatures over the winter decreased power demand and hampered efforts to return to profitability.

Its shares rose 51 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $27.15 in midday trading. They have traded in a 52-week range of $14.65 to $27.32.