Third Quarter Good for DTE and Spectra, but Not Duke

Written By Brianna Panzica

Posted November 4, 2011

The third quarter showed some improvement in the U.S. economic trend.  Consumer spending rose, energy companies saw a good influx of venture capital, and others are reporting positive earnings.

DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE), a natural gas an electric utility company located in Detroit, reported a 12.3% boost in third quarter profits, surpassing analyst estimates.

According to Detroit Free Press, the $1 a share expected by analysts was beat by earnings of $1.07 per share, and it is also a nice little improvement from last year’s $0.96 per share.

Earnings total $183 million.

DTE contains Michigan-based companies Detroit Edison and Michigan Consolidated Gas Co.

Detroit Edison’s earnings dropped 4.8%, reported The Detroit Free Press, caused by a drop in energy demand for residents, but the boost in residential natural gas demand was able to counter this.

Also up this quarter was Spectra Energy (NYSE: SE), a natural gas pipeline company.

Spectra saw a profit jump of 29% this quarter, though it fell behind analyst estimates of $0.40 per share, coming in at $0.39 a share.

The biggest increase, Bloomberg reports, was in its Western Canadian business, which grew by 24%.  The U.S. sector saw a much smaller growth, the article reported.

Total income for the third quarter was $254 million this year, compared with last year’s net income of $197 million.

Not all companies fared so well for the third quarter, however.  North Carolinian company Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) fell 30%, against analyst estimates.

The Chicago Tribune reported that one of the reasons for the drop may have been a decrease in air conditioning use.  Consumers looking to save money may have foregone the luxury, and it is also possible that air was not so necessary this past summer.

Analysts expected net income to be reported at about $0.47 per share, but instead it came in at $0.35 per share, a total of $472 million.

For the same period last year, net income was $0.51 per share, or $670 million.

CEO Jim Rogers told the Chicago Tribune that unemployment is a big player in the drop in energy demand as well.  However, demand is beginning to pick up, albeit slowly.

On Friday in afternoon trading, DTE was up 0.8% to $52.61.  Spectra rose 0.6% to $29.18 per share, and Duke was down 0.7% to $20.66.

That’s all for now,


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