Cleco Earnings Dip Thanks to Customer Refunds

PINEVILLE, LA (AP) — Pineville-based utility Cleco Corp. reported its second-quarter profit slipped to $36.6 million, or 60 cents per share, compared to $42 million, or 69 cents per share, a year ago.

         However, those results include a customer-refund charge of $22.3 million, or 22 cents per share.

         Bruce Williamson, chairman, president and chief executive officer, tells The Advocate growth in the utility's wholesale business drove higher revenues.

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         Cleco expects to meet its earlier earnings projections of $2.65 to $2.75 per share.

         The utility's shares have fallen around 15 percent in the last month, amid reports that potential buyer Macquarie, an Australian bank, is having difficulty finding investors to back the proposed deal.

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