Duke Energy takes revenue blow in second quarter due to COVID-19

Duke-Energy (Large)
Breaks for customers in second quarter cost Duke Energy.

The coronavirus outbreak continues to take its toll even on some of the largest businesses in Florida as Duke Energy announced Monday it took a notable hit in earnings in the second quarter of trading this year.

Duke officials said in a news release Monday the company lost about $1.13 per share between April and the end of June this year.  That’s a loss for the quarter that saw $5.4 billion in total revenue, a dip from last year’s $5.8 billion, or a 7.7% annual decline in revenue during the second quarter.

As of about 4 p.m. Monday, Duke stocks were trading at $84.71 per share on the New York Stock Exchange, down about $1.90 for the day, which is a 2.1% drop.

Duke Energy is based in Charlotte, N.C., but has millions of customers in Florida. Company officials placed much of the blame for lagging revenues on COVID-19 impacts with energy bills relieved for many customers who lost their jobs during the outbreak.

But Duke Energy officials remain upbeat about prospects for the company. Duke is such a large multi-state energy behemoth, company officials say they can handle the challenging times.

“Despite challenges the first half of 2020 has presented, we’ve demonstrated resiliency and agility, delivering solid second-quarter results and on pace to meet our 2020 financial commitments,” said Lynn Good, Duke Energy chair, president and CEO.

“We’re already realizing savings from our impressive cost mitigation efforts and are on pace to produce more this year, going to extraordinary lengths to help customers with billing and payments, maintaining reliable service and helping protect our employees,” Good said.

Duke Energy had given many Florida customers breaks on paying their electric bills if they lost income due to coronavirus-related layoffs or terminations. This summer, Duke extended its grace period from Aug. 1 to Sept. 1.

Good said the company is confident Duke will be able to make up for the lost revenue.

“What the quarter underscores is our ability to mitigate headwinds, given our size, scale and agility. Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, our workforce has risen to the challenge, enabling us to advance our strategy to build a smarter, cleaner energy future for our communities,” Good said.

Drew Dixon

Drew Dixon is a journalist of 40 years who has reported in print and broadcast throughout Florida, starting in Ohio in the 1980s. He is also an adjunct professor of philosophy and ethics at three colleges, Jacksonville University, University of North Florida and Florida State College at Jacksonville. You can reach him at [email protected].


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