- Duke Energy reported its Q4 2014 earnings this week and company officials say it is preparing to pay a $100 million fine to settle the ongoing investigation into a coal ash spill into the Dan River in North Carolina.
- Duke noted the potential fine in its earnings release this week and said its fourth quarter results included a 14 cent per share charge related to the company's "assessment of probable financial exposure related to any agreement."
- Duke reported fourth quarter 2014 adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of 86 cents, compared to $1 for the fourth quarter 2013, and fourth quarter 2014 reported diluted EPS of 14 cents, compared to 97 cents in 2013.
The Charlotte Observer reports that criminal charges could be brought against Duke Energy related to the coal ash spill into the Dan River last February. According to the newspaper, there may be several misdemeanor charges on violations of the Clean Water Act.
Duke referenced the potential for a hefty $100 million fine in its Feb. 18 earnings release, noting the company "is in settlement discussions with the U.S. government related to the ongoing federal grand jury investigation of the February 2014 Dan River coal ash spill and ash basin operations at other North Carolina coal plants."
A deal could be reached in the next several days, the company said, and would resolve the ongoing grand jury investigation of the company's coal ash basin management. Reported results for the fourth quarter 2014 include a charge of approximately $100 million, though the company said the charge was excluded from the company's adjusted diluted EPS results for 2014.
"2014 was a year of great accomplishment and challenge," said President and CEO Lynn Good. "Our system reliably met record customer demands during the 2014 polar vortex. Our teams quickly and safely responded to over 1.7 million customer outages following two major ice storms early in the year.