Chesterton Tribune



NiSource posts 1Q net income of $219M

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NiSource Inc. is reporting a net income in the first quarter of 2019 of $218.9 million or 55 cents basic earnings per share, compared to $276.1 million or 82 cents in the year-ago period.

Those results “were driven primarily by our team’s continued execution of our long-term utility infrastructure modernization programs,” NiSource President and CEO Joe Hamrock said in a statement released on Wednesday. “These programs are the foundation of our focus on safety enhancements to the gas distribution system across our footprint. In addition, we continue to advance our electric generation strategy in Indiana, and we are well-positioned to deliver on our commitments to 2019.”

NiSource expects to make capital investments of $1.6-1.7 billion in 2019 and of $1.6-2.0 billion annually from 2020 through 2022.

Meanwhile, NiSource said--in the aftermath of the disastrous natural-gas explosion last September in Greater Lawrence, Mass., in a system operated by one of its subsidiaries, Columbia Gas--that it’s working to improve safety measures. “The company is also making progress with the installation of automatic shut-off devices on its low-pressure systems. Initial pilot projects have been completed and installation work has begun across the company’s operating area. These automatic shut-off devices provide an additional level of control and protection, operating like circuit breakers. When the device senses an operating pressure that is too high or too low, it is designed to immediately shut down natural gas in the system, regardless of the cause.”

NiSource did add that work continues on restoration following the explosions, which killed one person and left many others homeless or without gas service. “Restoration efforts continue to progress in the Merrimack Valley following the September 2018 event in Greater Lawrence, with a dedicated team providing support to impacted customers,” the company said.

“With the end of the winter heating system, work has begun to replace heating equipment that was repaired in the weeks after the event,” NiSource noted. “Approximately 875 customers will receive new furnaces or boilers, with installations expected to be completed by Sept. 15, 2019. The company continues to process customer claims, provide equipment repair support on appliances heating equipment, and restore private and community property affected by last fall’s construction work.”

Operating Income by Segment 1Q

--Gas distribution: $275.4 million ($321.7 million in the year-ago).

--Electric: $95 million ($83.1 million in the year-ago).

--Corporate and other: $3.8 million (an operating loss of $4.2 million in the year-ago).

--Total operating income: $374.2 million ($400.6 million in the year-ago).



Posted 5/2/2019




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