Thu, Apr. 9, 10:42 AM
- Duke Energy (DUK -0.8%) says it will seek the dismissal of a $25.1M judgment for groundwater violations related to coal-ash pits at the L.V. Sutton Steam Electric Plant in Wilmington, N.C.
- DUK says the fine by North Carolina environmental regulators was unnecessary and excessive, citing actions already taken by the company, and disputes the state regulators’ methods for setting the fine.
- DUK already has agreed to settle charges that it violated the federal Clean Water Act by spilling coal ash into the Dan River last year, and said it would pay $102M in penalties and restitution.
Mon, Apr. 6, 11:10 AM
- Duke Energy (DUK +2.2%) discloses that it entered into agreements with various dealers to repurchase of $1.5B of its common stock under an accelerated stock buyback program.
- DUK says it will pay $750M each to Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase in exchange for an initial delivery of 8.3M shares from each of the banks, totaling ~85% of the total number of DUK shares to be repurchased under the program.
- The final number is dependent on the stock price, less a discount and subject to adjustments.
Mon, Apr. 6, 9:42 AM
- Duke Energy (DUK +1%) agreed to a $2.5M settlement with Virginia over the February 2014 coal ash spill that coated 70 miles of the Dan River with gray sludge, state environmental officials said Friday.
- The consent order does not preclude affected Virginia municipalities from seeking their own settlements with DUK.
- The spill originated in North Carolina but also affected areas in Virginia, leaving more than 2,500 tons of the toxic ash backed up at a dam in Danville.
Sun, Apr. 5, 9:18 AM
- T, PM, VZ, DUK, STX, GM, GE, MCD, CAT and DOW are 10 “high-quality” S&P 500 stocks with dividend yields of 3.5-5.7% and promising growth potential, Barron’s says, citing Howard Silverblatt of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services.
- 60 companies in the S&P 500 yield 3.5% or more, but the above stocks cover their dividends from estimated 2015 earnings. The list also excludes REITs and MLPs.
Thu, Apr. 2, 4:54 PM
- Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) says it plans to install as much as 500 MW of solar power in Florida by 2024, a proposal that would more than triple the state's total capacity.
- DUK’s Florida utility expects to begin building the first site this year and complete 35 MW of solar power by 2018.
- DUK currently owns no solar in Florida, which has been slow to adopt the technology despite ranking third in rooftop solar potential among U.S. states.
- In other news, DUK closes the sale of its interest in 11 power plants to Dynegy, and says it will use $1.5B from the sale for an accelerated stock repurchase plan.
Mon, Mar. 30, 9:57 AM
- Dynegy (DYN +5.4%) opens higher after announcing late Friday that it won approval from the FERC to buy power plants in Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania from Duke Energy (DUK +0.5%) and Energy Capital Partners for $6.25B.
- The approval clears the way for DYN to complete its acquisition, which was announced last August.
- In buying the units, which sell power in competitive wholesale markets, DYN will nearly double its electricity generation capacity, owning and operating nearly 26K MW of fuel-diverse power generating facilities, primarily in the Midwest and Northeast.
Tue, Mar. 24, 2:42 PM
- Duke Energy (DUK -1.2%) says it will appeal the "unprecedented" $25.1M fine by North Carolina environmental regulators over pollution that has been seeping into groundwater for years from a pair of coal ash pits at a retired Sutton power plant outside Wilmington.
- Duke plans to file a formal appeal with the state's Office of Administrative Hearings by April 9.
- DUK says it plans to close 32 ash basins across North Carolina but that it can only remove the ash from the basins after the state issues new wastewater permits, the first of which it anticipates receiving in early summer.
Tue, Mar. 17, 6:37 PM
- Despite the prospect of a Fed rate hike, patient investors should stick with utility stocks for their attractive yields, regular earnings and dividend growth, two analysts tell CNBC.
- While higher rates may look foreboding, Hilliard Lyons analyst David Burks says recent history shows the sector could still outperform, noting that electric utilities beat the S&P 500 "by a fairly wide margin" during the 2004-06 period of higher rates when the Fed raised rates 16 times.
- Morningstar's Travis Miller thinks the sector's short-term performance will continue to reflect interest rate movements, but that investors willing to hold utilities two years or more can get strong absolute returns.
- Burks' favorite income pick is PPL, his top growth pick is NEE, and he likes AEP for total return; Miller's picks include SO, which he says has come down substantially and is now trading a discount, plus DUK and ITC.
- ETFs: XLU, IDU, VPU, RYU, FUTY, UPW, PUI, FXU, SDP
Tue, Mar. 10, 5:09 PM
- North Carolina’s environmental agency slaps Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) with a $25M fine for coal ash contamination of groundwater at its Sutton power plant near Wilmington, and hints that more state fines for tainted groundwater at some of DUK's 14 other coal plants in the state could be coming.
- Sutton, whose three coal-fired units were retired in 2013, is one of four DUK North Carolina plants marked as high priorities for ash-pond closure.
- The regulator says the fine is the state's largest-ever penalty for environmental damages.
Tue, Mar. 10, 10:44 AM
- Duke Energy (DUK +0.5%) agrees to settle a shareholder lawsuit linked to the controversial closing of its $32B 2012 purchase of Progress Energy for $146M.
- A divided DUK board forced CEO Bill Johnson to step down less than 24 hours after he had been appointed to head the merged companies, which led to investigations by regulators and several suits by investors who claimed DUK intentionally misled them by saying Johnson, who had been CEO of Progress, would lead the combined companies after the purchase.
- DUK already took a related $26M charge against earnings last year, while insurance will cover the remaining $120M of the settlement.
Tue, Feb. 24, 2:43 PM
- Duke Energy (DUK +0.5%) is reiterated with a Buy rating and a new Street-high $99 price target at Argus, which expects DUK’s rate base growth over the next 4-5 years to be above the peer-group average, which should drive long-term earnings growth.
- The firm says DUK is benefiting from positive changes in its electric rate structures, which it believes will improve the company’s balance sheet, grow cash flow and offer a ~4.1% dividend yield, making the shares a sound long-term holding for income-oriented investors.
Fri, Feb. 20, 5:36 PM
- Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) says it has reached a $102M settlement with the U.S. government that would stop an ongoing criminal investigation that began with the massive Dan River coal ash spill a year ago.
- DUK would be required to pay ~$68M in fines and restitution and $34M for community service and mitigation; the payments will be borne by shareholders, not customers.
- The agreement still must be approved by the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of North Carolina.
Wed, Feb. 18, 8:40 AM
- Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) -0.4% after reporting sharply lower Q4 earnings, as its international energy business was pressured by widespread drought in Brazil.
- DUK says it has completed a strategic review of its international energy business and plans to continue to own and operate the business; in Q4, the segment swung to a $301M loss from a year-ago profit of $108M, weighed by lower volumes and drought in Brazil.
- DUK also says it could reach a settlement in the next several days with the U.S. government over a federal grand jury investigation into last February's coal ash spill in the Dan River in North Carolina; DUK booked a $100M charge in Q4 related to the probe.
- Income from DUK's regulated utilities fell 21.5% Y/Y to $449M from $572M, hurt by higher operations and maintenance expenses and the timing of fossil plant outages.
- Issues in-line guidance for FY 2015, seeing EPS of $4.55-$4.75 vs. $4.75 analyst consensus estimate.
Wed, Feb. 18, 7:11 AM
Tue, Feb. 17, 5:30 PM
Wed, Jan. 7, 6:01 PM
- Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) asks customers to reduce electricity use over the next 24 hours, as frigid temperatures are expected to increase pressure on the electrical grid and raise the potential for isolated power outages.
- DUK says it should have sufficient generating resources to meet demand but that conditions may change quickly, and it may need to “initiate forced power reductions that would result in rotating or sustained power outages across the grid.”
- DUK operates utilities that serve 7M-plus customers in six states in the southeast and midwest.
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