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.
some_text CenterPoint Energy

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MPHA, SRC, and CenterPoint Energy team up for extensive weatherization of Glendale Townhomes

​The Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA), Sustainable Resources Center, Inc. (SRC), and CenterPoint Energy are pleased to announce funding and a timeline for winter weatherization and energy efficiency improvements across all 28 buildings of the Glendale Townhomes.

Glendale is a public housing development of 184 family townhomes in the Prospect Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. It was built in 1952, without modern design or materials ideal for Minnesota winters. In June, SRC weatherized an eight-townhome Glendale building as a pilot project—including wall and attic insulation, vent fans, and weather-stripping—at a cost of approximately $8,000 to $10,000 per unit.

"The pilot was a success in terms of what we learned, and the immediate improvements in comfort we were able to achieve for residents," said Greg Russ, MPHA's Executive Director. "Knowing that, we could push forward with SRC and CenterPoint Energy to find a way to extend the work to every home." Financial support for the project comes from CenterPoint Energy's Conservation Improvement Program (CIP) and the U.S. Department of Energy's "Weatherization Assistance Program" (WAP), which is administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

Based upon the findings from the pilot, SRC anticipates weatherizing an additional 10 to 12 buildings by the end of the year, with the remainder in 2018. SRC provides free home energy upgrades to hundreds of income-eligible homeowners and renters in Hennepin County each year. The Glendale project alone will reach more than 600 people.

"We are proud to be a part of this project and partner with MPHA and SRC to make a positive difference for our neighbors," said Todd Berreman, director of energy efficiency for CenterPoint Energy.  "We look forward to completing the work in the remaining Glendale townhomes and providing a more pleasant and energy-efficient living environment for the residents of this community."

SRC will conduct an energy audit of each building, identifying priorities for each unit. Along with insulation and ventilation, enhancements could include cleaning, repair, or replacement of furnaces or water heaters, and installation of energy-efficient light bulbs.

The three partners are grateful to Minneapolis Ward 2 City Council Member Cam Gordon for helping them bridge the unique hurdles posed by this large-scale project.  

"Glendale has provided home and community for low-income families for 65 years, and we intend for it do so for the next 65," said MPHA Executive Director Russ. "Even as we look to the long-term preservation of Glendale, this major investment with SRC and CenterPoint will make a meaningful difference for families today."

Call CenterPoint Energy now for Cold Weather Rule protection

Minneapolis – Oct. 9, 2017 – CenterPoint Energy is reminding customers about certain rights and their responsibilities as it relates to the Cold Weather Rule (CWR), which protects residential customers experiencing difficulty paying their natural gas bill from having their natural gas service disconnected between Oct. 15, 2017 and April 15, 2018. While the CWR does not prevent customers from being disconnected for nonpayment, it does provide customers extra protection as defined in the CWR, but residential customers must contact CenterPoint Energy to set up a payment plan.

"We want to make sure all of our customers understand the Minnesota Cold Weather Rule. It helps those customers who may have trouble paying their natural gas bill during cold winter months," said Brad Tutunjian, vice president of Gas Operations in Minnesota.  "But, it also helps customers whose service is currently disconnected. I encourage those customers to call us now at 1-800-245-2377 to qualify under the Rule. We'll work together to establish a payment plan so their service is turned back when heating season begins."

Customers who anticipate having trouble paying their entire natural gas bill, have received a Notice of Proposed Disconnection or need gas service reconnected are all urged to call CenterPoint Energy to establish a payment plan. A payment plan will include what is owed as well as the amount to be billed and will take into consideration a customer's financial situation and any other special circumstances. The payment plan must also be agreeable to both the customer and CenterPoint Energy. If an agreed-upon payment plan cannot be reached, customers have a right to appeal under the CWR.

Under the CWR, special payment terms are available to customers who:

  • Apply for and receive Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding assistance in Minnesota; or
  • Meet income guidelines set by the state of Minnesota and provide proof of income.

Call CenterPoint Energy to set up a payment plan at 1-612-372-4680 or 1-800-729-6164. For additional information, please visit CenterPointEnergy.com/ReadyForWinter.

Other helpful information:

  • In addition to calling CenterPoint Energy to discuss and establish a payment plan, company representatives are available to refer customers to social service agencies who may have energy assistance funds;
  • Customers can also sign up for CenterPoint Energy's Average Monthly Billing Plan, which spreads natural gas costs throughout the year, helping customers avoid payment peaks. Customers can sign up online through My Account at CenterPointEnergy.com/Register or by calling CenterPoint Energy;
  • The Minnesota Department of Commerce maintains a website that provides information on energy efficiency and heating assistance programs; and
  • Customers interested in helping others pay their natural gas bill can support the Salvation Army's HeatShare program. Visit The Salvation Army's website to make a donation.

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. With more than 7,400 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. The utility also operates a non-regulated business in Minnesota called Home Service Plus®. For more information, visit the website at CenterPointEnergy.com.

CenterPoint Energy prepares for TS Nate; urges customers to be prepared for potential flooding and issues important natural gas safety tips

Houston – Oct. 6, 2017 – As the Gulf Coast braces for Tropical Storm Nate, CenterPoint Energy is closely monitoring and preparing for the storm. The company has developed the following pre- and post-storm natural gas safety tips that customers should follow:

Before the storm:

  • Do not turn off your natural gas service at the meter; doing so could allow water to enter the natural gas lines.
  • Be alert for the smell of natural gas. If you smell gas, leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to leave, too.
  • If you smell gas, do not turn the lights on or off, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone or operate anything that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or a generator.
  • Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off. Once safely away from the area, call CenterPoint Energy at 888-876-5786. The company will send a trained service technician.

After the storm:

  • If your home was flooded, call a licensed plumber or gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and gas piping to make sure they are in good operating condition before calling CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service. This includes outdoor gas appliances including pool heaters, gas grills and gas lights.
  • Call 811, the nationwide Call Before You Dig number before cleaning debris, digging on your property or to locate underground natural gas lines and other underground utility lines.
  • Be aware of where your natural gas meter is located. As debris is put out for heavy trash pickup, make sure it is placed away from the meter. If debris is near a gas meter, the equipment used by trash collectors could pull up the meter, damaging it and causing a potentially hazardous situation. If this happens, leave the area immediately and call CenterPoint Energy at 888-876-5786.

Visit CenterPoint Energy's weather safety pages and follow the company @cnpalerts and Facebook.com/CenterPoint Energy.

CenterPoint Energy urges customers to stay safe during clean-up

HOUSTON - September 1, 2017 – The safety of our employees and our customers is our top priority. We urge customers to follow the below safety tips as clean-up efforts continue following Hurricane Harvey.

ELECTRIC SAFETY TIPS

Stay away from downed power lines. Be especially mindful of downed lines that could be hidden in flood waters and debris, and treat all downed lines as if they are energized or “live.” Boats being used in high water can expose you to danger from power lines at their normal height. Be aware and stay away. DO NOT attempt to remove a tree limb or other debris from a power line. Once away from the area, call 713-207-2222 and we will respond as soon as it is safe.

Power restoration

• If you find that water has risen above your electrical outlets, you must call a licensed electrician before you turn on the main circuit breaker or turn on the power for any connected appliances, such as televisions, computers and more.

• Your electrician will assess the damage and will then need to ensure that your home’s electrical system is safe to receive power.

• Your electrician may need to either call CenterPoint Energy or direct you to call us at 713-207-2222 to ensure that it is safe to perform electrical work. CenterPoint Energy may temporarily disconnect service to your home to allow work to be performed.

• Even if you or your electrician calls and asks us to remotely disconnect service, there still could be voltage present. Therefore, we will ask the electrician and you to confirm you want us to proceed before going forward, and will remind you to take precautions around your breakers.

• CenterPoint Energy is responsible for and will make repairs to the electric delivery system up to where it connects to your home or business. However, you are responsible for repairs if there is damage to the meter box or weatherhead (where the line enters your home through a pipe).

• If the meter box or weatherhead is damaged, our crews will not be able to re-establish service. If in doubt, contact a licensed electrician now to make an inspection and any necessary repairs.

Appliance and equipment safety

• All electrical appliances and electronic equipment that have been submerged in water must be dried thoroughly for at least one week. Then, you should have them checked by a qualified repair professional before turning them on.

• Do not try to repair a flood-damaged appliance as it could result in electrical shock or death. Attempting to restart it could result in further damage and costly repairs. Page 2 of 2 For more information contact Olivia Ross 713.207.3288 24-hour media access 713.619.5143 For Immediate Release

• If the outside unit of your air conditioning system has been under water, the controls may have mud and water accumulated in them. Have the unit inspected by a qualified air conditioning technician before using it.

• Never connect a portable electric generator or a motor home/RV generator directly to your home’s electrical system during a power outage. Electricity could back feed into the power lines and endanger repair workers.

Call 811 before any digging is started – it’s the law. Striking buried utility lines can cause serious injury or death. Alert participating utility companies, such as electric, gas, cable and phone about planned digging so they can mark the appropriate location of their underground lines. Please be prepared for a longer than usual wait time during the next few weeks, and do not dig until the lines have been marked.

NATURAL GAS SAFETY TIPS

• Do not turn off your natural gas service at the meter; doing so could allow water to enter the natural gas lines.

• Be alert for the smell of natural gas - It smells like rotten eggs. If you do smell natural gas, leave the area immediately on foot and tell others to leave, too.

• Do NOT turn on your lights, smoke, strike a match, use a cell phone or operate anything that might cause a spark, including a flashlight or a generator.

• Do not attempt to turn natural gas valves on or off. Once you are safely away from the area, call 911 and 888-876-5786. Once it is safe, CenterPoint Energy will send a trained service technician.

• If your home was flooded, call a licensed plumber or gas appliance technician to inspect your appliances and gas piping to make sure they are in good operating condition before calling CenterPoint Energy to reconnect service. This includes outdoor gas appliances including pool heaters, gas grills and gas lights.

Call 811 before any digging is started – it’s the law. Striking buried utility lines can cause serious injury or death. Alert participating utility companies, such as electric, gas, cable and phone about planned digging so they can mark the appropriate location of their underground lines. Please be prepared for a longer than usual wait time during the next few weeks, and do not dig until the lines have been marked.

• Be aware of where your natural gas meter is located. As debris is put out for heavy trash pickup, make sure it is placed away from the meter. In many areas the meter may be located near the curb. If debris is near a gas meter, the mechanized equipment used by trash collectors could pull up the meter, damaging it and causing a potentially hazardous situation. If this happens, leave the area immediately and call CenterPoint Energy at 888- 876-5786.

• Visit CenterPointEnergy.com/StormCenter for natural gas safety tips and other resources.

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CenterPoint Energy donates $1.25 million to assist Hurricane Harvey recovery and relief efforts

Houston – Sept. 1, 2017 – CenterPoint Energy today announced that it is committing $1.25 million to Hurricane Harvey recovery and relief efforts. CenterPoint Energy’s contributions include a $250,000 donation each to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, the City of Houston Mayor’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund and the United Way of Greater Houston disaster relief efforts.

“Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by this unprecedented catastrophe,” said Scott Prochazka, president and chief executive officer of CenterPoint Energy. “CenterPoint Energy has been a part of these communities for more than 150 years. The safety and well-being of our communities and employees impacted by Hurricane Harvey remain our top priorities.”

CenterPoint Energy is also donating $300,000 to support employees across its service territory significantly impacted by the storm. The company has also established an employee assistance fund, CenterPoint Energy Employees 1st Fund, to collect employee donations and match them up to a total of $200,000. “We take pride in lending a helping hand to those in need, which is a core part of our culture,” added Prochazka.

In addition to the charitable contributions, employee volunteerism is an important part of CenterPoint Energy’s role in communities throughout its service territory. Employee volunteers provide their time and energy to assist with altruistic initiatives. In 2016, employees, retirees and their families and friends contributed 237,500 hours to their communities, and the company donated more than 2,000 grants to qualified nonprofit organizations.

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 54.1 percent of the common and subordinated units representing limited partner interests 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 150 years. For more information, please visit www.CenterPointEnergy.com.

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