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Business news and information from Charlotte and the Carolinas. 

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Duke Energy

  Duke Energy's profits fell in the first quarter compared with a year ago because of weather issues and income lost from operations it sold. But executives say the company is on track to meet its profit target for the full year. 

Warmer weather this winter reduced demand for energy - and Duke's revenues. And cleanups after winter storms pushed up costs. At the same time, Duke’s revenues declined because of the sale of its Midwest power generation division a year ago.

Still, chief financial officer Steve Young called it a "solid quarter,"

Duke Energy

Duke Energy has launched a new storytelling website focusing on people, energy and the environment and on Duke itself. Called Illumination, it grew out of an internal site aimed at employees.

“What we realized is that a lot of the stories we’ve been sharing with employees could be of great interest to either broad or niche audiences outside of Duke Energy,” says co-editor Greg Efthimiou.

Duke CEO Lynn Good
Duke Energy

Beginning a few decades ago, Duke Energy began buying up plants outside the U.S. It also acquired companies beyond the Carolinas that sell energy on the open market. Now, Duke wants to tighten its focus on what it calls its core businesses.

Michael Tomsic

As NASCAR begins its new season with the Daytona 500 this weekend, it’s making another big change to be more like other sports. Two years ago, NASCAR shifted from a convoluted points system to a winner-take-all playoff. This year, its racing teams will become more like NBA or NFL franchises rather than independent businesses.

Carolinas HealthCare System

The Charlotte area’s largest employer named its new CEO today. Gene Woods will take the helm at Carolinas HealthCare System in April.

Michael Tomsic

Racing executives say NASCAR is in its best shape since the recession as the sport enters its new season. NASCAR leaders made their case in uptown Charlotte on Tuesday as part of an annual media event.

Bank of America is reporting higher fourth quarter profits than the same period a year ago. The bank says its  profit was $3.01 billion, or 28 cents per share, for the three month period ending in December. That’s nearly 10 percent higher than the same period a year earlier. The results beat analysts’ expectations of 27 cents a share on average. Bank of America says the increased earnings were spurred by lower expenses and continued improvement in its consumer banking division. The bank’s revenue in the quarter was $19.53 billion compared with $18.73 billion the year before.

BlueCross BlueShield is apologizing to customers frustrated by bank account overdrafts and long waits on the phone last week. The problems affected a small percentage of customers in the individual market.

The individual market consists of people who buy insurance directly from an insurance company or on the Obamacare exchanges. BlueCross BlueShield caused about 3,200 of those customers to overdraw their bank accounts.

Howard Levine To Step Down As Family Dollar CEO

Jan 8, 2016
T. Ortega Gaines / Charlotte Observer File Photo

Charlotte Observer

Howard Levine is stepping down as chief executive officer of Matthews-based Family Dollar on Jan. 15, the company announced Friday.

Levine’s departure follows Virginia-based Dollar Tree’s acquisition of Family Dollar last summer. At the time, the company had said Levine would remain with the company for two years to assist with the integration, reporting to Dollar Tree CEO Bob Sasser.

cognizant.com

We’re going to revisit an incentives deal from a year ago that raised some eyebrows in North Carolina. The state gave generous tax breaks to help convince a company to open a new office in Charlotte. That’s pretty standard. The head-scratching part is the nature of that company’s business: shipping U.S. jobs overseas.

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