NiSource Inc. is
today reporting a net income in 2019 of $328 million or 88 cents per share,
compared to a net loss in 2018 of $65.6 million or 18 cents.
For the fourth
quarter NiSource is reporting a net loss of $153 million or 41 cents,
compared to a net loss of $19.8 million or 5 cents in the year-ago period.
originally scheduled to release its 2019/4Q report on Wednesday but
postponed the release following the announcement of a settlement agreement
under which its subsidiary, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, will pay a
$53-million fine in connection with the disastrous series of natural-gas
explosions which shook three communities in the Merrrimack Valley north of
Boston in September 2018.
That fine is the
largest ever imposed for breaking a federal pipeline safety law.
Also under that
settlement agreement, NiSource will endeavor to sell Columbia Gas of
Massachusetts--with any profit from the sale turned over to the federal
government--as well as to cease any gas pipeline and distribution activities
in Massachusetts. Late on Wednesday, NiSource announced that it has entered
into a definitive agreement to sell Columbia Gas of Massachusetts to
Eversource Energy, New England’s largest energy delivery company.
$1.1 billion in cash, which NiSource said represents a loss compared to the
subsidiary’s book value.
Citing the sale of
its Massachusetts subsidiary, NiSource on Wednesday withdrew its 2020
guidance, but said that it still expects to make capital investments this
year totaling $1.8-1.9 billion.
To date, costs and
expenses related to the pipeline disaster total up to $1.783 billion: $258
million in capital spent on pipeline replacement; up to $1.065 billion in
third-party claims and government fines, penalties, and settlements; and up
to $460 million in other related costs. Insurance companies to date: $800
“Our performance in
2019 demonstrated the resiliency of the NiSource business plan,” NiSource
President and CEO Joe Hamrock said. “During a challenging year, our team
remains relentlessly focused on safety and customer satisfaction, starting
with the accelerated implementation of SMS, as well as advancing our
electric generation strategy in Indiana and executing on nearly $1.9 billion
in capital infrastructure and safety investments in our gas and electric
SMS, according to
NiSource, is a “comprehensive approach to managing safety, emphasizing
continual assessment and improvement, as well as proactively identifying and
mitigating potential risks.”
“Safety is, and
will remain, the foundation of everything we do across our business,”
Hamrock said. “Our vision is to lead in safety and exceeding existing
industry standards, anchored by three pillars--a culture where everyone is
empowered to identify and report risk, process safety that adds layers of
protection, and enhanced asset risk analytics.”
2019 By Segment
operating income of $675.4 million (2018 operating loss of $254.1
operating income of $406.8 million (2018 operating income of $386.1
other: operating loss of $191.5 million (2018 operating loss
of $7.3 million).
income of $890.7 million (2018 operating income of $124.7 million).
4Q by Segment
operating income of $69.6 million (year-ago operating loss of $159.7
operating income of $85.4 million (year-ago operating income of $85.7
other: operating loss of $193 million (year-ago operating
loss of $4.4 million).
loss of $38 million (year-ago operating loss of $78.4