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Big utility Fortis has lower second-quarter net earnings on higher revenues

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ST.JOHN'S, N.L. - Fortis Inc., one of Canada's largest utilities, says it had lower second-quarter net earnings of $47 million compared with a year ago, weighed down by a charge related to its pending $4.3-billion acquisition of UNS Energy Corp.

The company said Friday it earned 22 cents per share in the quarter. That compared with $54 million or 28 cents per share for the same quarter of 2013.

Fortis (TSX:FTS) said the results included an interest charge of $13 million after taxes related to convertible debentures issued to finance some of the UNS Energy deal.

Adjusted earnings for the quarter, totalled $61 million, or 28 cents per share, compared with $61 million, or 32 cents per share, for the same period last year.

Revenue totalled $1.056 billion compared with $790 million year-over-year, helped by the acquisition last year of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. acquisition.

Shareholders of UNS Energy, an Arizona-based electricity and gas utility company, approved the purchase at the end of March.

In April, Fortis said it received regulatory approval from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to move ahead with its acquisition of UNS Energy, which operates power and gas utilities in several provinces and U.S. states.

A review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States was completed in May and the company said an early termination notice of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act was received in June.

The acquisition, which is expected to close later this year, is still subject to regulatory approval by the Arizona Corporation Commission and customary closing conditions.

Fortis has said about one-third of its assets will be in the United States once the UNS deal closes.

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