Duke Energy told investment analysts Thursday it expects to make $4.20 to $4.45 in adjusted, diluted earnings per share this year, results that would be similar to the $4.32 a share earned in 2012.
Meeting with analysts in New York, Duke said it will target long-term earnings growth of 4 percent to 6 percent through 2015.
The 2013 earnings will reflect a full year of results from Dukes mid-2012 acquisition of Progress Energy, expected lower operating costs due to the merger and the outcome of rate cases in the Carolinas and Ohio, chief financial officer Lynn Good said. But they will also be limited by costs to retire the Crystal River nuclear plant in Florida and by retail growth thats expected to be about 0.5 percent.
Duke also said an agreement to explore buying 5 percent to 10 percent of two new reactors at Santee Coopers Summer nuclear plant in South Carolina expired last fall, but that discussions continue.
Also on Thursday, Duke named chief nuclear officer Dhiaa Jamil president of Duke Energy Nuclear, with responsibility for its nuclear fleet, project management and construction and new-plant development.
Duke said the change was designed to further strengthen oversight and management of its 12-unit nuclear fleet, which now includes nuclear plants previously owned by merger partner Progress Energy. Jamil will also oversee the decommissioning of the Crystal River nuclear plant in Florida.
Bill Pitesa, senior vice president of nuclear operations for Dukes Brunswick and Robinson plants in North Carolina, will become chief nuclear officer. Pitesa, who joined Duke in 1980, will report to Jamil.