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A pedestrian walks past the TransAlta building in downtown Calgary, Monday, Oct. 5, 2009.

Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

Canada's TransAlta Corp.'s fourth-quarter profit fell 74 per cent , hurt by unplanned outages in Alberta and lower pricing in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, sending the power company's shares down 2 percent on Friday morning.

The company, which runs coal and gas-fired power plants and renewable energy facilities in Canada and the United States, said it expects to add 129 megawatts of generation from increased coal and wind capacity this year.

The company saw its net income attributable to common shareholders fall to $24-million, or 11 cents per share, from $92-million, or 42 cents, a year ago.

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Comparable earnings fell to $29-million, or 13 Canadian cents a share, from $80-million, or 36 cents.

Analysts were expecting earnings of 22 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company's profit was hurt by lower generation gross margins as it paid higher penalties on Alberta thermal outages. TransAlta faced an unplanned outage at Genesee 3, a plant in Alberta, in the fourth quarter.

The quarter was the last under former Chief Executive Steve Snyder, who retired at the start of the year. He was replaced by Dawn Farrell, an executive with 25 years experience in the electricity industry.

Revenue fell 10 per cent to $701-million.

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