Chesterton Tribune

 

 

NiSource posts 1Q profit

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By KEVIN NEVERS

NiSource Inc. is reporting a net income of $61.8 million or 16 cents per share for the first quarter of 2020, compared to a net income of $205.1 million or 55 cents in the year-ago period.

Those results include a $280.2 million loss due to the re-classification of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts’ assets as held for sale resulting from their previously announced sale to Eversource Energy.

Under a settlement agreement related to the disastrous serious of natural-gas explosions which shook three communities north of Boston in September 2018, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, a NiSource subsidiary, was required to pay a record criminal fine of $53 million. That agreement also required NiSource to attempt to sell its subsidiary and turn over any profit from the sale to the federal government.

The pending sale of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts to Eversource Energy remains on track to close by the end of the third quarter.

“Our continous focus during this pandemic is the safety of our employees and customers while supporting the communities we service,” NiSource President and CEO Joe Hamrock said in a statement released this morning. “As our states restricted all business activities in many other industries, they designated all NiSource utilities as providing essential services. This designation is important to the service we provide to our nearly 4 million utility customers, and it’s also critical to the support we provide to other essential service providers, to whom we are deeply grateful.”

“While continuing to provide safe, reliable service through the pandemic is at the forefront today, much of the first quarter of 2020 played out prior to COVID reaching crisis proportions in the United States,” Hamrock added. “Since then we have taken additional steps which position NiSource to manage through this crisis.”

Outlook

“The continued spread of COVID-19 has resulted in widespread impacts on the global economy and financial markets and could lead to a prolonged reduction in economic activity, extended disruptions to supply chains and capital markets, and reduced labor availability and productivity,” NiSource said. “NiSource continues to evaluate the range of potential impacts on its natural gas and electric busiensses and on its future operating results and liquidity.”

“NiSource currently expects to experience decreased sales volumes to commercial and industrial customers, increased bad debt expenses, and sustained customer attrition,” the company noted. “There could also be an impact of availability of contractor labor, materials, and supplies, although the company has not experienced any material impact so far. NiSource lowered its capital investment plan by $100 million to help conserve cash and now expects to make investments of $1.7 to $1.8 billion in 2020.”

1Q Operating Income by Segment

-- Gas distribution: $78.5 million ($275.4 million year-ago).

-- Electric: $78.5 million ($95.0 million year-ago).

-- Corporate and other: operating loss of $8.8 million (operating income of $3.8 million year-ago).

Total: $148.2 million ($374.2 million year-ago).

 

 

Posted 5/7/2020

 
 
 
 

 

 

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