Chesterton Tribune

NiSource posts strong year in 2010 but weak fourth quarter

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By KEVIN NEVERS

NiSource Inc. finished 2010 with a weak fourth quarter but posted a markedly improved performance for the year.

NiSource is reporting a net income in 2010 of $292 million or basic earning per share of $1.05, compared to a net income in 2009 of $217.7 million or 79 cents.

For the fourth quarter of 2010 NiSource is reporting a net income of $33.4 million or basic earnings per share of 12 cents, compared to a net income in the year-ago period of $89.5 million 32 cents.

“NiSource’s established infrastructure investment-driven strategy continues to generate positive customer benefits, enhanced shareholder value, and sustainable long-term earnings growth,” NiSource President and CEO Robert Skaggs Jr. said in a statement released today.

“During 2010, our team executed on a broad array of key regulatory and financial initiatives, infrastructure enhancement programs, and new growth projects,” Skaggs added. “These achievements, combined with improved margins and increased usage in our industrial electric markets, enabled us to deliver on our earnings commitments for the fourth consecutive year, while remaining responsive to the needs of our customers and other key stakeholders.”

Among other things, NiSource reported $50 million in additional revenue in 2010 from infrastructure enhancement and regulatory initiatives at its gas distribution companies; and more than $20 million in increased demand margin revenue chiefly linked to the completion of the company’s gas transmission and storage projects.

To fund infrastructure investments slated for 2011, NiSource also completedin September a $400 million equity offering of common stock and finalized in December a debt tender offer of $273.1 milloin and a concurrent 30-year debt offering of $250 million.

“With the successful completion of our equity offering and other key elements of our financial strategy, we are well positioned to take advantage of the deep inventory of investment opportunities available across all of our business units and continue growing our earnings on a sustainable basis,” Skaggs said.

Operating Income 2010

•Gas distribution: $342.9 million ($329.4 million in 2009).

•Gas transmission and storage: $377.2 million ($408.9 million in 2009).

•Electric: $218.3 million ($162.3 million in 2009).

•Corporate and other: an operating loss of $20.9 million (an operating loss of $19.8 million in 2009).

Operating Income 4Q

•Gas distribution: $113 million ($114.6 million in the year-ago period).

•Gas transmission and storage: $100 milion ($116.7 million in the year-ago period).

•Electric: $43.8 million ($35.5 million in the year-ago period).

•Corporate and other: an operating loss of $8.3 million (an operating loss of $7.6 million in the year-ago period).

 

Posted 2/1/2011