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Spectra Energy 3Q net income falls on gas prices

HOUSTON (AP) -- Pipeline operator Spectra Energy Corp. said Thursday that its third-quarter net income fell 30 percent on tumbling prices of natural gas and gas liquids.

The Houston company earned $179 million, or 27 cents per share, compared with $254 million, or 39 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue slipped 5 percent to $1.07 billion.

The results fell short of Wall Street's expectations. Analysts forecast a profit of 31 cents per share on revenue of $1.15 billion.

Spectra said the price of natural gas liquids averaged 72 cents per gallon in the third quarter compared with $1.24 a year earlier. Natural gas prices were about a third of what they were a year ago.

Spectra said better earnings in its fee-based businesses and lower expenses also helped offset lower commodity prices.

The company expects the impact of lower natural gas prices will continue to hurt its earnings in the fourth quarter.