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Piedmont Natural Gas halves its seasonal loss

Piedmont Natural Gas lost $2.3 million in the third quarter, the Charlotte company reported Thursday -- half as much as it did in the same time period last year.

Piedmont typically loses money in the quarter that ends July 31. In those summer months, customers aren’t firing up their gas furnaces as much. The company generally describes its performance as a “seasonal loss.”

For the first nine months of its current fiscal year, Piedmont’s profit has increased 14 percent, to $139.4 million, over the year before. The company is projecting customer growth of more than 1 percent, and has increased the margin between its revenue and what it pays for gas.

“We are pleased with our year to date performance in 2013,” CEO Thomas Skains said in a statement.

The company will host a conference call with analysts to discuss the results Monday.

Piedmont also named Carolinas HealthCare System CEO Michael Tarwater to its board of directors Thursday. He’ll serve on the board effective Nov. 1. Directors are paid $36,000 in cash each year and given $55,000 to be invested in Piedmont stock, plus meeting fees, according to securities filings.

Dunn: 704-358-5235 Twitter: @andrew_dunn
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