Duke Energy Misses on Top and Bottom Lines

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK  ) reported third-quarter earnings today, missing on both its top and bottom lines.

Operating revenue clocked in at $6.71 billion, just shy of 2012's Q3 sales of $6.72 billion  and far below analyst expectations of $7.32 billion.

And unfortunately for investors, Duke Energy's profit line doesn't look much better. The utility reported adjusted EPS of $1.46, a penny below last year's Q3 and a full nickel below analyst estimates of $1.51.

According to Duke Energy, unfavorable weather and higher depreciation and amortization expenses (mostly due to write-offs for its retired Florida nuclear plant) were the main reason for this quarter's crunch. However, President and CEO Lynn Good was quick to point out that her company made significant headway on "constructive regulatory outcomes" that should set Duke Energy up for a brighter future.

"We have successfully achieved the near-term priorities we established a year ago and are well-positioned to deliver on our commitments to customers, communities and investors," Good said in a statement today. "Our ongoing focus is to deliver on the promises we made after our merger with Progress Energy -- to leverage our scale in order to maximize the efficiency of our operational and financial performance."

Following its 2012 merger with Progress Energy, Duke Energy is now the country's largest electric utility by both number of customers and market value, according to The Associated Press.

Looking ahead, the utility expects Q4 EPS to clock in between $0.90 and $1.00, with full-year 2013 EPS guidance narrowed to $4.25 to $4.45. The previous range was $4.20 to $4.45 per share.

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