July 31, 2008 / 5:39 PM / in 9 years

TransCanada profit surges on higher power prices

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Profit at TransCanada Corp (TRP.TO) rose 26 percent in the second quarter as power prices rose and expenses fell.

The company, Canada’s largest pipeline and power firm, said on Thursday that net income climbed to C$324 million ($318 million), or 58 Canadian cents a share, in the quarter from C$257 million, or 48 Canadian cents, in the year-earlier period.

Comparable net earnings, excluding most one-time items, rose 27 percent to C$316 million, or 57 Canadian cents a share, from C$241 million, or 45 Canadian cents a share, in the second quarter of 2007.

Analysts had, on average, forecast a profit of 51 Canadian cents before items, according to Reuters Estimates.

TransCanada is best known as the operator of the national and Alberta natural-gas pipeline system and the ANR pipeline network in the United States. It recently announced plans to build a $7 billion pipeline from the Canadian oil sands to the refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The company said funds from operations rose 13 percent to C$676 million from C$596 million.

Revenue dipped 9 percent to C$2 billion from C$2.2 billion.

($1=$1.02 Canadian)

Reporting by Scott Haggett; Editing by Peter Galloway

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