NiSource Inc. is reporting a net income in the first quarter of 2011 of
$205.2 million or 73 cents basic earnings per share, compared to $197.3
million or 71 cents in the year-ago period.
“NiSource’s robust agenda of significant infrastructure investments paired
with complementary commercial and regulatory activity continues to generate
tangible benefits for our customers, increased value for our shareholders,
and positions us for sustainable long-term earnings growth,” NiSource
President and CEO Robert Skaggs Jr. said in a statement released today. “Our
first quarter performance is squarely in line with our expectations as well
as our full-year 2011 earnings outlook, and sets the stage for ongoing
execution of our balanced business strategy.”
NiSource’s subsidiary, the Northern Indiana Public Service Company, “remains
on track to establish new electric base rates by late 2011 or early 2012,”
the company said. Currently on the table before the Indiana Utility
Regulatory Commission (IURC): a 7.9-percent hike which would increase the
average household’s monthly bill by around $5.94. That electric rate-case is
intended to supersede an original one for which, in August 2010, the IURC
actually issued an order resulting in a 16.8-percent hike. Early this year
NIPSCO asked the IURC to quash that order and expedite the new case.
NIPSCO is amenable, however, to a settlement of some sort, NiSource said,
and “is actively engaged in settlement discussions with all of its
stakeholders and remains committed to seeking a collaborative, mutually
Meanwhile, NiSource said, NIPSCO launched “two significant customer
programs” in the first quarter of 2011: the first, targeted at commercial
and industrial customers, “offers financial incentives for the completion of
cost-effective energy projects involving the installation of new
high-efficiency equipment or systems”; the second program provides
high-energy residential users information about becoming more energy
•Gas distribution: $237.1 million ($234.7 million year-ago). NiSource
attributed the decrease to lower residential, commercial, and industrial
margins due to NIPSCO’s change from a volumetric-based rate design to one
with a higher fixed charge.
•Gas transmission and storage: $118.5 million ($125.9 million year-ago).
NiSource attributed the decrease to the recognition of a gain in
first-quarter 2010 on the previously deferred transfer of natural gas
provided by Columbia Gas Transmission to Hardy Storage Company.
•Electric: $41.9 million ($46.3 million year-ago). NiSource attributed the
decrease to higher operating, employee, and administration expenses.
•Corporate and other: an operating loss of $2.6 million (an operating loss
of $1.7 million year-ago).
•Total operating income: $394.9 million ($405.2 million year-ago).