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.
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
The pending sale of
Columbia Gas of Massachusetts to Eversource Energy remains on track to close
by the end of the third quarter.
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.”
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
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.”
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
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
million ($374.2 million year-ago).