Moody's Upgrades Duke Energy and Three Subsidiaries
By Michael Calia
Moody's Investors Service on Wednesday upgraded Duke Energy Corp. (DUK) and three of its utility subsidiaries, citing the resolution of issues the utility giant faced for more than a year.
The ratings firm now rates Duke Energy one notch higher at Baa1, three levels above investment grade. The ratings of Duke Energy Carolinas LLC, Duke Energy Progress Inc. and Duke Energy Indiana Inc. were all raised one notch, too.
The outlook on all the entities is stable, Moody's said. The firm had placed the ratings of Duke and the subsidiaries on review for possible upgrades in July.
"The upgrade of Duke Energy and three of its utility subsidiaries reflects the improvement in their credit profiles following the resolution of several key issues and uncertainties since its merger with Progress Energy nearly 15 months ago," said Michael G. Haggarty, senior vice president at Moody's.
Duke, based in Charlotte, N.C., acquired Progress Energy last year for $26 billion. The company controls utilities that serve more than seven million customers in the Carolinas, Indiana, Florida, Ohio and Kentucky.
Duke and regulators in North Carolina reached a settlement in November over a controversial boardroom coup after the Progress acquisition. Under that deal, Jim Rogers, who had run Duke before the merger and was installed as Chief Executive Bill Johnson's replacement, agreed to retire at the end of 2013, and Duke's board would see some changes.
Lynn Good, who previously served as Duke's finance chief, assumed the role of CEO in July.
Shares of Duke Energy were down 19 cents at $67.50 on Wednesday. The stock is up 5.8% this year.
Write to Michael Calia at email@example.com
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