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PG&E returns to profit in 4Q, adj. results miss

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- PG&E returned to a profit in its fourth quarter, as the prior-year period included higher costs related to natural gas.

But the utility's adjusted earnings missed analysts' estimates.

PG&E's net income available was $86 million, or 19 cents per share, for the period ended Dec. 31. A year earlier, it lost $13 million, or 3 cents per share.

Costs tied to natural gas matters — including costs to make safety improvements — totaled $105 million in the latest quarter, down from $259 million a year ago. The prior-year period also included $7 million in environmental-related costs.

Excluding certain items, earnings from operations were 42 cents per share.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet predicted earnings of 44 cents per share.

For the year, PG&E Corp.'s net income slipped to $814 million, or $1.83 per share, from $816 million, or $1.92 per share, in 2012.

Adjusted earnings from operations were $2.72 per share.

Annual revenue rose 4 percent to $15.6 billion from $15.04 billion.

PG&E serves more 15 million customers in Northern and Central California.

The stock shed 17 cents to $42.03 in morning trading.