UPDATE 1-Duke Energy profit misses Street on weak commercial sales
Aug 7 (Reuters) - Duke Energy Corp, the largest power provider in the United States, posted a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday as the company struggles with weak commercial sales.
Duke, which uses coal, natural gas and nuclear plants to generate electricity, has struggled this year with sales to large, Midwest commercial clients affiliated with a wholesale distributor. However, Duke said its 2012 buyout of rival Progress Energy continues to bolster power sales to domestic customers.
For the second quarter, the company posted net income of $339 million, or 48 cents per share, compared with $444 million, or 99 cents per share, in the year-ago period.
Excluding charges to write-off investments in a failed Florida nuclear project, as well as other one-time items, the company earned 87 cents per share.
By that measure, analysts expected earnings of 94 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company's 2012 buyout of rival Progress Energy substantially increased the company's float.
Operating revenue rose to $5.88 billion from $3.58 billion, missing the $5.73 billion expected by Wall Street.
Duke said it still expects to earn $4.20 to $4.45 per share this year. The midpoint of that forecast roughly matches analysts' average estimate of $4.33.