TransCanada Profit Rises as Bruce Nuclear Units Return

TransCanada Corp. (TRP), builder of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, said first-quarter profit increased as the Bruce nuclear power plant units returned to service.

Net income rose to C$446 million ($437 million), or 52 cents a share, from C$352 million, or 52 cents, a year earlier, the Calgary-based company said in a statement on Marketwired today. Excluding one-time items, per-share profit was below the 54-cent average of 13 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Higher output from Bruce Power in Ontario, the world’s largest operating nuclear plant, is the “major driver” of bigger profit expectations in the first quarter, Steven Paget, a Calgary-based analyst at FirstEnergy Capital Corp., said in an April 19 phone interview.

TransCanada owns 57,000 kilometers (35,000 miles) of pipelines and more than 10,800 megawatts of power generation in North America. The company got 66 percent of its sales from moving gas and oil along its pipeline systems last year, up from 54 percent in 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The company is awaiting a U.S. ruling it expects by mid- year on the $5.3 billion northern leg of its Keystone XL line proposed to bring crude from Alberta’s oil sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast, Alex Pourbaix, president of energy and oil pipelines, said last month.

The earnings were released before the start of regular trading on North American markets. TransCanada, which has one sell, seven buy and nine hold recommendations from analysts, fell 0.3 percent to C$49.77 in Toronto yesterday. The shares have declined 5.9 percent this year.

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