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Duke Reports 4th Quarter Loss, Lower Profit For 2016

Courtesy of Duke Energy

A loss on the sale of its international operations contributed to an overall loss of $227 million at Duke Energy for the last three months of 2016. Duke on Thursday also reported that its profit for all of 2016 was down about 24 percent, to $2.1 billion.

But after adjusting for one-time expenses, the report was in line with analysts' expectations. Duke’s shares closed the day up 2.7 percent. 

CEO Lynn Good told analysts during a morning conference call that Duke is adapting to big changes in the energy business by investing in key areas:

"Strengthening and modernizing our energy grid, generating cleaner energy through natural gas and renewables and building natural gas infrastructure to support the growing need for this important resource," Good said.

She said the company will spend $25 billion over the next decade to upgrade its power network, and $11 billion on cleaner energy, such as natural gas plants and solar farms. It also plans to continue investing in gas pipelines, like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline which is planned from West Virginia to North Carolina.

Last October, Duke announced it was getting out of the energy business outside the United States by selling operations in Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America.  In December, the company completed the sales.

Duke's operations in Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador and Argentina were sold to I Squared Capital.  China Three Gorges Corp. bought Duke's 10 hydroelectric plants in Brazil.

Altogether, the sales resulted in a loss of $640 million during the third quarter, Duke said.

David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.