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NEW YORK (AP) -- Duke Energy Corp. on Thursday forecast 2013 adjusted earnings per share per share of $4.20 to $4.45, in line with analysts' forecasts.

Chairman and CEO Jim Rogers said the range of the 2013 outlook accommodated the possible outcomes of pending rate cases.

Analysts, who usually exclude items, were expecting $4.33 per share, according to FactSet.

Duke also said that annual earnings per share will rise between 4 percent and 6 percent through 2015. Analysts were looking for growth of 6.7 percent from 2013 to 2014 and 3.5 percent in 2015.

The company offered the forecast at a meeting with investors in New York.

Duke serves 7 million electric customers in six states after the 2012 acquisition of Progress Energy.

Duke earned $1.77 billion last year as it benefited from higher rates and severe weather that increased demand for power. But the company is preparing for tepid future demand due to slow economic growth and more efficient homes and businesses.

Shares of Duke, based in Charlotte, N.C., fell 77 cents to $69.36 in afternoon trading.

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