(Adds CEO comments, details)
By Amrutha Gayathri
Aug 4 (Reuters) - Duke Energy Corp reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by strength in its regulated power business, and said it was working with selected bidders to sell its international assets.
The company said it plans to focus on its regulated power markets business in the United States to drive more stable earnings and cash flow growth.
The biggest U.S. power company by generation capacity said in February it was looking to sell its international assets - which are all in Latin America - a year after it decided to keep it.
“We have moved into the more detailed due diligence with a select number of bidders and the process is progressing,” Chief Executive Lynn Good told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.
Good said the company was targeting an announcement on the sale by the end of the year.
Duke’s international business has been impacted by a weak Brazilian currency and economy, as well as drought conditions that affected the company’s power generation capacity in the country.
The international business - spanning Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala and Peru - accounted for about 5 percent of the company’s total operating revenue in the second quarter.
Duke said income from its regulated utilities business rose 13.6 percent to $718 million in the second quarter ended June 30.
The company’s international energy business, reported a quarterly loss of $102 million, compared with a profit of $52 million, a year earlier, hurt by an impairment charge related to certain assets in Central America.
The net income attributable to the company fell to $509 million, or 74 cents per share, in the quarter, from $543 million, or 78 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company reported earnings of $1.07 per share, beating analysts’ average estimate of $1.01 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The Charlotte, North Carolina-based company reported impairment charges of $195 million in the second quarter.
Duke’s total operating revenue fell 1.9 percent to $5.48 billion.
The company’s shares, which had risen nearly 20 percent this year, were marginally down at $84.85 in morning trading. (Reporting by Amrutha Gayathri in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Shounak Dasgupta)