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PG&E 1Qnet income rises 3 percent
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Power utility PG&E Corp. on Thursday its first-quarter net income rose 3 percent, but fell short of Wall Street predictions.

For the quarter ended March 31, the San Francisco-based company posted a profit attributable to common shareholders of $239 million, or 55 cents per share. That was down from $233 million, or 56 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2012.

Excluding one-time items, the company, which operates as Pacific Gas and Electric Co., posted an adjusted profit of 63 cents per share.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 68 cents per share, according to FactSet.

The charges mainly related to safety improvements across its natural gas pipelines, and to legal and other costs resulting from a 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, Calif. Total costs related to the blast, which killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes, now exceed $1.4 billion, PG&E said.

During the quarter, the company said it completed three of the 12 federal safety recommendations that followed the San Bruno explosion. It is working on five remaining measures.

Total operating revenue for the quarter edged up less than 1 percent to $3.67 billion from $3.64 billion.

Wall Street was expecting $3.75 billion in revenue.

PG&E said the quarter's results were hurt by a lower regulated return on equity and debt compared with the year-ago period and costs related to its scheduled nuclear refueling outage at its at Diablo Canyon Power Plant.

The company backed its previous prediction for 2013 adjusted profit of $2.55 to $2.75 per share. Analysts expect $2.64 per share.

PG&E shares fell 43 cents to $47.23 in midday trading.