Duquesne Light Earnings Rise

Revenue rises while the cost of purchased power is little changed.
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Duquesne Light's

(DQE)

third-quarter earnings nearly doubled thanks to higher revenue and a flat purchased-power expense.

The company, whose corporate name used to be "DQE," earned $43.5 million, or 56 cents a share, in the quarter, up from $23.4 million, or 31 cents a share, a year ago. The latest period included a gain of $11.7 million from an asset sale and a $6.5 million increase in the mark-to-market value of energy contracts.

Excluding the items, analysts had been expecting earnings of 39 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call. Duquesne said total operating revenue was $263.3 million in the latest quarter, up from $242.8 million a year ago. Its purchased power expense was $103 million in the latest quarter, compared with $104 million a year ago.

For all of 2005, Duquesne expects to earn $1.35 to $1.42 a share, presumably including the third-quarter gains. The Wall Street consensus is $1.19 a share.

The stock closed Tuesday at $16.65.