Updated 08/02/2012 11:30 AM
Duke reports big profits as Progress' earnings fall
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CHARLOTTE – Duke Energy is in talks with the North Carolina Utilities Commission to reach a settlement in the probe of the company's post-merger CEO shakeup.
The news comes as Duke and Progress report their second quarter earnings.
In a conference call with investors, CEO Jim Rogers said he is pursuing what he called "an acceptable resolution" to the utilities commission's probe of the leadership change.
Regulators want to know if they were misled about who would run the combined company after Duke and Progress merged.
Rogers says he hopes to satisfy regulators' concerns while focusing on the integration between the two companies.
Duke posted net quarterly income of $444 million, up from the $435 million recorded during the same period in 2011.
Progress Energy's earnings dropped to $63 million, down from $176 million in the same quarter last year. That's largely due to maintenance issues with the company's nuclear plants. But Rogers says the merger is still a good deal.
“The strategic value of this transaction remains unchanged,” said Rogers. “The combination creates a new Duke with unmatched financial and operational scale and scope.”
Thursday morning, members of GreenPeace flew a blimp over Charlotte, criticizing Duke's rates and the company's environmental record. Protesters say Duke should invest more in clean and renewable energy.
This week, Duke asked state regulators to approve $90 million in rate cuts for North and South Carolina customers. That would yield a little less than a dollar-a-month in savings to the average customer.