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TransCanada's Keystone pipeline.

TransCanada Corp. , the country's largest power and pipeline concern, said Friday its first-quarter profit fell 11.4 per cent, due to weaker power prices and higher business development costs.

The company said profit dropped to $296-million, or 43 Canadian cents per basic share, from $334-million, or 54 cents per basic share, in the first quarter of 2009.

Comparable earnings, which exclude most one-time items, fell 4.4 per cent to $328-million, or 48 Canadian cents per share, from $343-million, or 55 cents per share a year earlier.

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Analysts, on average, had expected to company to post comparable earnings of 50 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

TransCanada is best known for its network of natural gas pipelines in Canada and the United States and for its power-generation operations, which include a stake in the Bruce nuclear plant in Ontario and New York City's Ravenswood generating station.

Revenue fell 10.3 per cent to $1.96-billion.

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