swung to a fourth-quarter profit, reflecting the absence of energy trading-related charges in the year-ago period and a 15% jump in revenue.
The power company earned $358 million, or 36 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with a loss of $2.02 billion, or $2.23 a share, last year. Revenue was $6.05 billion in the latest quarter compared with $5.25 billion a year ago. The year-ago period included a charge of $1.97 a share related to the company's energy trading unit.
Adjusted for special items, Duke earned 24 cents a share in the 2004 quarter compared with 22 cents a share last year. Analysts were forecasting earnings of 24 cents a share.
The company said it's targeting 2005 basic earnings of $1.60 a share, reflecting higher field services earnings, a narrower loss at Duke Energy North America, and about $200 million of interest expense savings. The Thomson First Call estimate, which assumes dilution, is for earnings of $1.51 a share.
Shares fell 12 cents to $26.96 in premarket trading Wednesday.