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Hurricane Irma hits Duke Energy’s earnings for third quarter

By Malena Carollo
Hurricane Irma impacted Duke Energy's earnings for the year's third quarter, the utility reported Friday. Pictured is a trouble man for Duke Energy, right, working to cut tree limbs from a power line as apprentice lineman Nick Ceccarini looks on following Hurricane Irma. | [CHRIS URSO | Times]

ST. PETERSBURG — Add another notch to Hurricane Irma’s toll: Duke Energy’s earnings. The utility, of which the local Duke Energy Florida is a part, reported on Friday $954 million in net income for the third quarter of the year — or $1.36 per share — down about 19 percent from $1.2 billion — at $1.70 per share — last year in the same quarter.

It fell short of analysts’ estimates of $1.56 per share for the quarter.

"The hallmark of this quarter was resilience. In the face of unfavorable weather and the destructive force of Hurricane Irma, we continued to deliver on our financial commitments for the year through focused cost control," Lynn Good, Duke CEO, said.

Duke struggled to restore power to its Florida customers following Hurricane Irma, drawing their ire again when it missed its own deadline.

Related coverage: Thousands fume as Duke Energy misses deadline to restore power

Its operating revenue was $6.5 billion for the quarter, just over 1 percent less than the $6.6 billion in the same quarter for 2016.

In a release to investors, the utility attributed the lower earnings to the storm and because earnings no longer include International Energy, a segment of the company that served Central America that Duke sold in 2016. The International Energy difference, said Duke spokesperson Catherine Butler, amounts to about 8 cents per share.

Duke’s stock closed Friday at $88.52 per share, down 4 cents.

Contact Malena Carollo at [email protected] or (727) 892-2249. Follow @malenacarollo on Twitter.