CenterPoint Energy Reports First Quarter 2011 Earnings
2011-05-05T05:00:00Z

Houston, TX – May 5, 2011 - CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) today reported net income of $148 million, or $0.35 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2011 compared to $114 million, or $0.29 per diluted share, for the same period of 2010. Operating income for the first quarter of 2011 was $364 million compared to $357 million for the same period of 2010.
 
“This was a good quarter for our company,” said David M. McClanahan, president and chief executive officer of CenterPoint Energy. “We received a favorable decision from the Texas Supreme Court in our true-up case.  Our regulated electric and natural gas utilities and our interstate pipelines performed well, and our field services unit continues to realize growth from the investments we have made in the Haynesville shale.  I remain optimistic about future investment opportunities in our businesses.”

Electric Transmission & Distribution

The electric transmission & distribution segment reported operating income of $101 million for the first quarter of 2011, consisting of $68 million from the regulated electric transmission & distribution utility operations (TDU) and $33 million related to securitization bonds.  Operating income for the first quarter of 2010 was $107 million, consisting of $71 million from the TDU and $36 million related to securitization bonds. Operating income for the TDU benefited from growth of over 29,000 metered customers since March 2010, which was more than offset by higher operation and maintenance expenses primarily associated with system reliability programs.

Natural Gas Distribution

The natural gas distribution segment reported operating income of $142 million for the first quarter of 2011 compared to $139 million for the same period of 2010. The increase in operating income resulted primarily from lower bad debt expense, partially offset by increases in other operating expenses.  Reduced throughput as a result of milder weather was mitigated by weather hedges, weather normalization adjustment mechanisms and increased throughput to large volume customers.   

Interstate Pipelines

The interstate pipelines segment reported operating income of $76 million for the first quarter of 2011 compared to $72 million for the same period of 2010. Higher revenues from firm contracts associated with Phase IV of the Carthage to Perryville pipeline and new power plant transportation contracts were partially offset by reduced revenues from ancillary services.  Operation and maintenance expenses were lower primarily due to an insurance settlement.

In addition to operating income, this segment recorded equity income of $4 million for the first quarter of 2011 from its 50 percent interest in the Southeast Supply Header (SESH) compared to equity income of $3 million for the same period of 2010.

Field Services
 
The field services segment reported operating income of $36 million for the first quarter of 2011 compared to $23 million for the same period of 2010. Revenue growth from higher gathering volumes, primarily associated with projects in the Haynesville shale, was partially offset by increased operation and maintenance expenses primarily related to facility expansions.

In addition to operating income, this business had equity income of $2 million in each of the first quarters of 2011 and 2010 from its 50 percent interest in a gathering and processing joint venture (Waskom). 

Competitive Natural Gas Sales and Services

The competitive natural gas sales and services segment reported operating income of $10 million for the first quarter of 2011 compared to $15 million for the same period of 2010.  Operating income for the first quarter of 2011 included charges of $2 million resulting from mark-to-market accounting for derivatives associated with certain forward natural gas purchases and sales used to lock in economic margins, compared to gains of $3 million for the same period of 2010. 

True-up Decision

On March 18, 2011, the Texas Supreme Court issued its decision in the company’s true-up case, the proceeding in which the Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC) determined the amount of stranded costs and other amounts due to the company as a result of the restructuring of the Texas electric industry in 1999.  The Supreme Court’s decision remains subject to motions for rehearing and must be implemented through a remand to the PUC.  Based on the Court’s decision, the company plans to seek a Financing Order from the PUC to authorize securitization of approximately $1.85 billion, which includes interest through September 30, 2011. 

Dividend Declaration

On April 21, 2011, CenterPoint Energy’s board of directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.1975 per share of common stock payable on June 10, 2011, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 16, 2011. 

Outlook Reaffirmed for 2011

CenterPoint Energy reaffirmed its 2011 earnings guidance of $1.04 to $1.14 per diluted share.   This guidance takes into consideration various economic and operational assumptions related to the business segments in which the company operates.  The company has made certain assumptions regarding financing activities and the impact to earnings of various regulatory proceedings.  In providing this guidance, the company has not included the impact of any changes in accounting standards, any impact from significant acquisitions or divestitures, any impact to income from the change in value of Time Warner stocks and the related ZENS securities, or the timing effects of mark-to-market or inventory accounting in the company’s competitive natural gas sales and services business.  It also does not reflect the recording of the Texas Supreme Court’s decision in the TDU’s true-up appeal.  For the impact of these factors on the company’s earnings for the three months ended March 31, 2011, see the attached reconciliation.

Filing of Form 10-Q for CenterPoint Energy, Inc.

Today, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2011.  A copy of that report is available on the company’s website, under the Investors section.  Other filings the company makes with the SEC and other documents relating to its corporate governance can also be found on that site.

Webcast of Earnings Conference Call

CenterPoint Energy’s management will host an earnings conference call on Thursday, May 5, 2011, at 10:30 a.m. Central time or 11:30 a.m. Eastern time.  Interested parties may listen to a live audio broadcast of the conference call on the company’s website, under the Investors section.  A replay of the call can be accessed approximately two hours after the completion of the call and will be archived on the website for at least one year.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution, competitive natural gas sales and services, interstate pipelines, and field services operations.  The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. Assets total more than $19 billion. With over 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 135 years.  For more information, visit the company’s website at CenterPointEnergy.com.

This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Actual events and results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements.   The statements in this news release regarding the company’s earnings outlook for 2011 and future financial performance and results of operations, the expected request for future recovery as a result of the Texas Supreme Court’s true-up decision, and any other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements.  Each forward-looking statement contained in this news release speaks only as of the date of this release.  Factors that could affect actual results include (1) the resolution of the true-up proceedings, including, the outcome of requests to the Texas Supreme Court for rehearing, future actions by the Public Utility Commission of Texas in response to the decisions by the Texas Supreme Court and the Texas Third Court of Appeals, and any further appeals thereof; (2) state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments relating to the environment, including those related to global climate change; (3) other state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments affecting various aspects of CenterPoint Energy’s businesses, including, among others, energy deregulation or re-regulation, pipeline safety, health care reform, financial reform and tax legislation; (4) timely and appropriate rate actions and increases, allowing recovery of costs and a reasonable return on investment; (5) the timing and outcome of any audits, disputes or other proceedings related to taxes; (6) problems with construction, implementation of necessary technology or other issues with respect to major capital projects that result in delays or in cost overruns that cannot be recouped in rates; (7) industrial, commercial and residential growth in CenterPoint Energy’s service territories and changes in market demand, including the effects of energy efficiency measures, and demographic patterns; (8) the timing and extent of changes in commodity prices, particularly natural gas and natural gas liquids, and the effects of geographic and seasonal commodity price differentials; (9) the timing and extent of changes in the supply of natural gas, including supplies available for gathering by CenterPoint Energy’s field services business and transporting by its interstate pipelines; (10)  weather variations and other natural phenomena; (11) the impact of unplanned facility outages; (12) timely and appropriate regulatory actions allowing securitization or other recovery of costs associated with any future hurricanes or natural disasters; (13) changes in interest rates or rates of inflation; (14) commercial bank and financial market conditions, CenterPoint Energy’s access to capital, the cost of such capital, and the results of our financing and refinancing efforts, including availability of funds in the debt capital markets; (15) actions by rating agencies; (16) effectiveness of CenterPoint Energy’s risk management activities; (17) inability of various counterparties to meet their obligations; (18) non-payment for services due to financial distress of CenterPoint Energy’s customers; (19) the ability of GenOn Energy, Inc. (formerly known as RRI Energy, Inc.) and its subsidiaries to satisfy their obligations to CenterPoint Energy and its subsidiaries; (20) the ability of retail electric providers, and particularly the two largest customers of the TDU, to satisfy their obligations to CenterPoint Energy and its subsidiaries; (21) the outcome of litigation brought by or against CenterPoint Energy; (22) CenterPoint Energy’s ability to control costs; (23) the investment performance of pension and postretirement benefit plans; (24) potential business strategies, including restructurings, acquisitions or dispositions of assets or businesses; (25) acquisition and merger activities; and (26) other factors discussed in CenterPoint Energy’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2010, and Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2011, and other reports CenterPoint Energy or its subsidiaries may file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc. and Subsidiaries
Reconciliation of reported Net Income and diluted EPS to the basis used in providing 2011 annual earnings guidance
Quarter Ended
March 31, 2011
Net IncomeEPS
(in millions)
As reported $ 148 $ 0.35
Timing effects impacting CES(1):
Mark-to-market (gains) losses - natural gas derivative contracts10.00
Natural gas inventory write-downs--
ZENS-related mark-to-market (gains) losses:
Marketable securities(2) (21)(0.05)
Indexed debt securities150.04
Per the basis used in providing 2011 annual earnings guidance$ 143$ 0.34
(1) Competitive natural gas sales and services
(2) Time Warner Inc., Time Warner Cable Inc. and AOL Inc.
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Gov. Mark Dayton proclaims April as Minnesota Safe Digging Month

MINNEAPOLIS April 25, 2017Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton issued a proclamation announcing April as Minnesota Safe Digging Month. The proclamation reminds homeowners to call 811 before starting any outdoor digging projects to prevent injuries, property damage and inconvenient outages.

An underground utility line is damaged once every six minutes nationwide because someone decided to dig without first calling 811, according to data collected by Common Ground Alliance (CGA)

"Contacting 811 at least two working days before digging prevents 99 percent of damages to vital underground utilities," said Keith Novy, supervisor of Damage Prevention for CenterPoint Energy.  "811 makes it very easy and convenient. You can submit your dig requests on your home computer on the website, GopherStateOneCall.org, or call 811 and talk to an operator."

By calling 811 before digging:

  • Homeowners are connected to Gopher State One Call, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig.
  • Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags and paint.
  • Once lines have been accurately marked, homeowners can dig carefully around marked lines.
     

Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in damage to gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines, which can lead to service disruptions, serious injuries and costly repairs.

Examples of digging projects that require a call to 811 before starting would be installing a mailbox, putting in a fence, laying underground cable or installing water lines. Visit Call811.com for more information about 811 and the call-before-you-dig process.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns a 55.4 percent limited partner interest in Enable Midstream Partners, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp., which owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. Withmore than 7,700 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 140 years. The utility also operates a non-regulated business in Minnesota called Home Service Plus®. For more information, visit the website at CenterPointEnergy.com.

Governor Asa Hutchinson proclaims April as Arkansas Safe Digging Month

HOUSTON April 18, 2017Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson issued a proclamation announcing April as Arkansas Safe Digging Month. The proclamation reminds homeowners to call 811 before starting any outdoor digging projects to prevent injuries, property damage and inconvenient outages.

An underground utility line is damaged once every six minutes nationwide because someone decided to dig without first calling 811, according to data collected by Common Ground Alliance (CGA). 

"Contacting 811 at least two working days before digging prevents 99 percent of damages to vital underground utilities," said Vincent Vickers, supervisor of Damage Prevention for CenterPoint Energy.  "811 makes it very easy and convenient. You can submit your dig requests on your home computer on the website, www.arkonecall.com, or call 811 and talk to an operator."

By calling 811 before digging:

  • Homeowners are connected to Arkansas One Call, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig.
  • Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags and paint.
  • Once lines have been accurately marked, homeowners can dig carefully around marked lines.

Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in damage to gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines, which can lead to service disruptions, serious injuries and costly repairs.


Examples of digging projects that require a call to 811 before starting would be installing a mailbox, putting in a fence, laying underground cable or installing water lines. Visit www.call811.com for more information about 811 and the call-before-you-dig process.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns a 54.1 percent limited partner interest in Enable Midstream Partners, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp., which owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With more than 7,700 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 140 years. For more information, visit the website at www.CenterPointEnergy.com

Gov. Greg Abbott proclaims April as Texas Safe Digging Month

HOUSTON April 18, 2017Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation announcing April as Texas Safe Digging Month. The proclamation reminds homeowners to call 811 before starting any outdoor digging projects to prevent injuries, property damage and inconvenient outages.

An underground utility line is damaged once every six minutes nationwide because someone decided to dig without first calling 811, according to data collected by Common Ground Alliance (CGA). 

"Contacting 811 at least two working days before digging prevents 99 percent of damages to vital underground utilities," said Joseph Berry, director of Underground Locating for CenterPoint Energy.  "811 makes it very easy and convenient. You can submit your dig requests on your home computer at the website, www.lonestar811.com, or call 811 and talk to an operator."

By calling 811 before digging:

  • Homeowners are connected to Lone Star 811, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig.
  • Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags and paint.
  • Once lines have been accurately marked, homeowners can dig carefully around marked lines.


Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in damage to gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines, which can lead to service disruptions, serious injuries and costly repairs.


Every digging project, no matter how large or small, necessitates a call to 811. Examples of digging projects that require a call to 811 before starting would be installing a mailbox, putting in a fence, laying underground cable or installing water lines.  Visit www.call811.com for more information about 811 and the call-before-you-dig process.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns a 54.1 percent limited partner interest in Enable Midstream Partners, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp., which owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With more than 7,700 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 140 years. For more information, visit the website at www.CenterPointEnergy.com

CenterPoint Energy reaches rate case settlement for Houston-area customers

HOUSTON, April 7, 2017 - CenterPoint Energy today filed with the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) a Stipulation and Agreement (the settlement) in the company's pending rate case. The settlement was entered into by all parties in the case, including the City of Houston/Houston Coalition of Cities, the Gulf Coast Coalition of Cities, the Texas Coast Utilities Coalition, and the Staff of the RRC. If approved by the RRC, the settlement will resolve all issues in that proceeding.

The settlement would increase the company's natural gas distribution base rate revenues for Houston-area customers by approximately $16.5 million per year. Additionally, if approved, the settlement will result in initial base rates that are the same for customers in the Houston Division and Texas Coast Division. It would also set a uniform rate for the cost of natural gas, which the company passes on to customers with no mark up.

The settlement would set new parameters, including a 9.6% return on equity on a 55.15% equity capital structure and updated depreciation rates, to be used in future Gas Reliability Infrastructure Program (GRIP) filings. GRIP is an interim rate adjustment allowed by Texas statute that allows utilities to recover their costs related to additional invested capital without filing a full rate case. CenterPoint Energy must file its next GRIP filing within two years of a final order in the pending rate case and a full rate case must be filed within five-and-a-half years after CenterPoint Energy's next GRIP filing.

If approved, residential customers within the Houston and Texas Coast Divisions would pay the same fixed monthly charge of $15.75 and the same usage rate of $0.07431 for each hundred cubic feet (Ccf) of natural gas used. An average residential bill with usage of 34 Ccf would be approximately $37 per month, excluding taxes. If the settlement is approved, the new rates are expected to go into effect in May or June of this year.

"This settlement is the result of collaborative work with all parties involved in the case to find common ground on a solution rather than litigating an extended rate case," said Randy Pryor, CenterPoint Energy's vice president of gas operations. "We believe this settlement benefits all parties and provides CenterPoint Energy the opportunity to earn a reasonable return on the investments we are making for safety and reliability now and in the future," added Pryor.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns a 54.1 percent limited partner interest in Enable Midstream Partners, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp.,  which owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With more than 7,700 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 140 years. For more information, visit the website at www.CenterPointEnergy.com.

This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  These forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions of management which are believed to be reasonable at the time made and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual events and results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Any statements in this news release regarding future events, such as future regulatory actions on the settlement by the RRC and the impact of such actions, and any other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Each forward-looking statement contained in this news release speaks only as of the date of this release.

CenterPoint Energy electric transmission and distribution business files Distribution Cost Recovery Factor application

HOUSTON - April 6, 2017 - CenterPoint Energy announced today that its electric transmission and distribution business, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, filed an application for Distribution Cost Recovery Factor (DCRF) with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) and the cities in its service area.

DCRF is an interim rate adjustment that, if approved, permits an electric utility to implement new rates to account for changes in distribution-invested capital since its last rate case.

"Houston's economy continues to thrive and we are making significant capital investments to meet the needs of our growing customer base and load," said Kenny Mercado, senior vice president of CenterPoint Energy's Electric Operations.

This is the company's third DCRF filing and represents a $44.6 million annual increase over current rates to begin recovering approximately $479 million in distribution capital invested in 2016. The estimated residential customer impact based on a monthly usage of 1,000 kilowatt hours is an $0.80 increase billed to the consumer's Retail Electric Provider. New rates are expected to go into effect by September 1.

 

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company also owns a 54.1 percent limited partner interest in Enable Midstream Partners, a publicly traded master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy Corp., which owns, operates and develops natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With more than 7,700 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 140 years. For more information, visit the website at www.CenterPointEnergy.com.

This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions of management which are believed to be reasonable at the time made and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. Actual events and results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Any statements in this news release regarding future events, such as future regulatory actions on the DCRF application, future economic conditions and any other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Each forward-looking statement contained in this news release speaks only as of the date of this release.