Chesterton Tribune



NiSource posts net income of $238.1 million in 2nd quarter

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NiSource Inc. is reporting net income available to shareholders in the second quarter of 2019 of $283.1 million or 76 cents per share, compared to $23.2 million or 7 cents in the year-ago-period.

“Our teams continue to execute on our critical priorities across the business, driving results for investors and all stakeholders,” NiSource President and CEO Joe Hamrock said in a statement released today. “These priorities include our long-term utility infrastructure modernization programs, safety enhancements across our gas distribution system, our electric generation strategy in Indiana, and completing the restoration in the Merrimack Valley. Our progress in these areas strengthens our confidence that we’ll deliver on our 2019 commitments.”

The company expects to grow non-GAAP earnings per share and dividend by 5 to 7 percent annually from 2019 through 2022 and expects to make annual capital investments of $1.6 to 2.0 billion through 2022. NiSource has investment-grade ratings with Fitch Ratings (BBB), Moody’s (Baa2), and Standard & Poor’s (BBB+). As of June 30, the company had approximately $1.0 billion in net available liquidity, consisting of cash and available capacity under its credit facility and accounts receivable securitizations.

Meanwhile, NiSource is reporting “substantial progress” with its restoration efforts following the disastrous natural-gas explosion last September in Greater Lawrence, Mass., in a system operated by one of its subsidiaries, Columbia Gas. “Approximately 875 of the 10,000 affected customers had their heating equipment repaired instead of replaced last fall,” the company said. “Throughout the spring and summer, teams have returned to these customers’ homes to replace that equipment and nearly 95 percent of that work is done. The company is on track to finish by Sept. 15, 2019.”

Also: in May the company announced a settlement agreement with the three municipalities in Massachusetts impacted by the disaster, under which NiSource paid $80 million to cover municipal property restoration, including road repair, and to resolve all other municipal claims, the company said today.

And, on Monday, NiSource announced that it’s reached an agreement in principle to settle all class-action lawsuits regarding damages from the disaster. “The class of plaintiffs includes thousands of residents and businesses affected by the incident,” the company said. “With this agreement in principle, which is subject to court approval, the company has resolved four major civil claims related to the event.”

NiSource’s subsidiaries are working as well on the installation of automatic shut-off devices on low-pressure systems. “Teams have installed more than 800 of these devices across the NiSource footprint, include all installation work in Virginia,” the company said. “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 to the system, regardless of cause.”

Other second-quarter highlights:

--On June 25, the Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) filed its latest tracker update request in its gas-infrastructure modernization program, covering $12.4 million in capital investments between July 2018 and April 2019. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) is expect to issue an order in the fourth quarter, with rates effective in November.

--On June 19, the IURC approved NIPSCO’s latest tracker update in its electric-infrastructure modernization program, covering $58.8 million in capital investments made from June 2018 through November 2018.

--NIPSCO’s electric base rate case remains pending before the IURC. An IURC order is expected in the fourth quarter.

Operating Income by Segment 2Q

--Gas distribution: $379.0 million ($39.1 million in the year-ago).

--Electric: $85.7 million ($82.4 million in the year-ago).

--Corporate and other: an operating loss of $1.2 million (a loss of $3.1 million in the year-ago).

--Total: $463.5 million ($118.4 million in the year-ago).



Posted 7/31/2019




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