July 31, 2014 / 6:59 PM / 4 years ago

TransCanada posts higher second-quarter profit on gain from subsidiary sale

(Reuters) - TransCanada Corp, the country’s No. 2 pipeline company and the backer of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, said on Thursday its second-quarter profit rose 14 percent on gains from the sale of a unit.

TransCanada President and Chief Executive Officer Russ Girling addresses the media after the Annual General Meeting in Calgary, Alberta, May 2, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Sturk

The company said net income totaled C$416 million ($382 million), or 52 Canadian cents per share, in the quarter, which was up from C$365 million, or 52 Canadian cents, in the same quarter of 2013.

The rise came as the company recorded a C$99 million gain on the sale of its carbon black business. That was partially offset by a C$31 million charge for changes to a natural gas storage contract.

Comparable earnings, which exclude most one-time items, fell 7 percent to C$332 million, or 47 Canadian cents per share, from C$357 million, or 51 Canadian cents a share. The result missed analysts’ average forecast for the measure of 49 Canadian cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

TransCanada is best known for its $5.4 billion Keystone XL oil pipeline, which has been awaiting U.S. government approvals for more than five years amid bitter opposition from environmental groups.

The company runs natural gas pipelines in Canada, the United States and Mexico and owns a major stake in the Bruce nuclear plant, Canada’s largest nuclear facility, as well as a host of renewable power projects.

It is also planning Canada’s largest crude oil line, the 1.1 million barrel per day Energy East project to take Alberta crude to Quebec, New Brunswick, and tidewater markets.

Weak power prices in the second quarter, however, drove the company’s comparable earnings lower.

“Weak Alberta power prices and maintenance outages at Bruce Power weighed on second-quarter results,” Russ Girling, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement.

TransCanada shares were down 2 Canadian cents to C$54.98 by midafternoon on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Nia Williams, editing by G Crosse

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