NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Duke Energy (DUK) were higher in mid-afternoon trading on Thursday as the company prepares to post 2016 third quarter results before Friday's opening bell.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet project that the Charlotte, NC-based energy company will report adjusted earnings of $1.58 per share on revenue of $6.93 billion.

In the same quarter last year, Duke posted adjusted earnings of $1.47 per share on revenue of $6.48 billion.

Deutsche Bank said recently that utilities and power companies could encounter third-quarter risks like lower commodity prices as well as higher interest rates and inflation.

For Duke, the firm expects earnings to be diluted in upcoming fiscal years due to pending international sales. But this will be partly offset by Duke's $4.9 billion acquisition of Piedmont Natural Gas early last month, Deutsche Bank added.

The firm has a "hold" rating and $85 price target on Duke stock.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

TheStreet Ratings rated this stock as a "buy" with a ratings score of B.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins, solid stock price performance and notable return on equity. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income.

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