- Company reiterates 2017 EPS guidance of $1.25 - $1.33 as decoupling and weather normalization adjustments help mitigate impact of an extremely warm winter; Potential $250 million increase to the 5-year capital plan with Freeport, Texas electric transmission expansion proposal submitted to ERCOT to serve growing petrochemical industry
Houston – May 5, 2017 - CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) today reported net income of $192 million, or $0.44 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2017, compared with $154 million, or $0.36 per diluted share for the same period of the prior year. On a guidance basis, first quarter 2017 earnings were $0.37 per diluted share, consisting of $0.27 from utility operations and $0.10 from midstream investments. First quarter 2016 earnings on a guidance basis were $0.32 per diluted share, consisting of $0.23 from utility operations and $0.09 from midstream investments.
Operating income for the first quarter of 2017 was $274 million, compared with $250 million in the first quarter of the prior year. Equity income from midstream investments was $72 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared with $60 million for the first quarter of the prior year.
The company continues to execute its rate recovery strategy. Recent developments include a $16.5 million settlement for Natural Gas Distribution’s Houston and Texas Coast division’s rate case, which is anticipated to become effective during the second quarter; a $9.3 million Formula Rate Plan (FRP) adjustment proposed in Arkansas; and a $44.6 million annual Distribution Cost Recovery Factor (DCRF) increase proposed by Houston Electric.
“We are off to a strong start this year despite a challenging winter,” said Scott M. Prochazka, president and chief executive officer of CenterPoint Energy. “Continued growth across our service territories, rate recovery and Midstream’s performance all contributed to the EPS gains we delivered this quarter.”
Electric Transmission & Distribution
The electric transmission & distribution segment reported operating income of $78 million for the first quarter of 2017, consisting of $58 million from the regulated electric transmission & distribution utility operations (TDU) and $20 million related to securitization bonds. Operating income for the first quarter of 2016 was $83 million, consisting of $59 million from the TDU and $24 million related to securitization bonds.
Operating income for the TDU benefited primarily from rate relief and customer growth. These benefits were more than offset by higher depreciation and amortization expense, lower equity return and lower usage, primarily due to milder weather.
Natural Gas Distribution
The natural gas distribution segment reported operating income of $164 million for the first quarter of 2017, compared with $160 million for the same period of 2016. Operating income benefited from rate relief, a one-time Minnesota property tax refund and customer growth. These increases were partially offset by lower usage due to milder weather and higher depreciation and amortization expense.
The energy services segment reported operating income of $35 million for the first quarter of 2017, which included a mark-to-market gain of $15 million, compared with $6 million for the same period in 2016, which included a mark-to-market loss of $9 million. Excluding mark-to-market adjustments, operating income was $20 million for the first quarter of 2017 compared with $15 million for the same period of 2016. The $5 million increase in operating income was primarily due to an increase of throughput and number of customers related to the acquisitions in the past 12 months of both Atmos Energy Marketing and the energy service business of Continuum.
The midstream investments segment reported $72 million of equity income for the first quarter of 2017, compared with $60 million in the first quarter of the prior year.
Capital Plan Update
As previously announced on Jan. 6, 2017, the company expects to spend $1.5 billion in capital this year. Houston Electric expects to invest $922 million to support sustained customer growth, reliability and safety. Natural Gas Distribution expects to invest $534 million to accommodate continued growth and pipe replacement needs in its six-state service territory.
On April 3, 2017, the company submitted a proposal to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas requesting endorsement for a $250 million transmission project to meet the load of the growing petrochemical industry in the Freeport, Texas area. Capital expenditures for the project would be incremental to the 5-year capital plan disclosed in the 2016 Form 10-K.
On a consolidated basis, CenterPoint Energy reaffirms its earnings estimate for 2017 in the range of $1.25 - $1.33 per diluted share. This guidance includes anticipated utility operations earnings of $0.93 - $0.97 per diluted share and anticipated midstream investment earnings of $0.31 - $0.37 per diluted share.
The utility operations guidance range considers performance to date and certain significant variables that may impact earnings, such as weather, regulatory and judicial proceedings, throughput, commodity prices, effective tax rates, and financing activities.
In providing this guidance, the company uses a non-GAAP measure of adjusted diluted earnings per share that does not consider other potential impacts, such as changes in accounting standards or unusual items, earnings or losses from the change in the value of the ZENS securities and the related stocks, or the timing effects of mark-to-market accounting in the company's Energy Services business.
In providing guidance for midstream investments, the company assumes ownership of 54.1 percent of the common and subordinated units representing limited partner interests in Enable Midstream and includes the amortization of CenterPoint Energy's basis differential in Enable Midstream. CenterPoint Energy's guidance takes into account such factors as Enable Midstream's most recent public outlook for 2017 dated May 3, 2017, and effective tax rates. The company does not include other potential impacts, such as any changes in accounting standards or Enable Midstream's unusual items.
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, 2017. 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 certain documents relating to its corporate governance can also be found under the Investors section.
Webcast of Earnings Conference Call
CenterPoint Energy's management will host an earnings conference call on Friday, May 5, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. Central time / 11:00 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 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, go to
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 earnings, and future financial performance and results of operations, including, but not limited to earnings guidance, targeted dividend growth rate 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) state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments affecting various aspects of CenterPoint Energy's businesses (including the businesses of Enable Midstream Partners (Enable Midstream)), including, among others, energy deregulation or re-regulation, pipeline integrity and safety, health care reform, financial reform, tax legislation, and actions regarding the rates charged by CenterPoint Energy's regulated businesses; (2) state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments relating to the environment, including those related to global climate change; (3) recording of non-cash goodwill, long-lived asset or other than temporary impairment charges by or related to Enable Midstream; (4) timely and appropriate rate actions that allow 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, and the impact of commodity changes on producer related activities; (9) weather variations and other natural phenomena, including the impact on operations and capital from severe weather events; (10) any direct or indirect effects on CenterPoint Energy's facilities, operations and financial condition resulting from terrorism, cyber-attacks, data security breaches or other attempts to disrupt its businesses or the businesses of third parties, or other catastrophic events; (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 its financing and refinancing efforts, including availability of funds in the debt capital markets; (15) actions by credit 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 and Enable Midstream's customers; (19) the ability of GenOn Energy, Inc. (formerly known as RRI Energy, Inc.), a wholly owned subsidiary of NRG 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 largest customers of the TDU, to satisfy their obligations
to CenterPoint Energy and its subsidiaries; (21) the outcome of litigation; (22) CenterPoint Energy's ability to control costs, invest planned capital, or execute growth projects; (23) the investment performance of pension and postretirement benefit plans; (24) potential business strategies, including restructurings, joint ventures, and acquisitions or dispositions of assets or businesses, for which no assurance can be given that they will be completed or will provide the anticipated benefits to CenterPoint Energy; (25) acquisition and merger activities and successful integration of such activities, involving CenterPoint Energy, Enable Midstream or their competitors; (26) the ability to recruit, effectively transition and retain management and key employees and maintain good labor relations; (27) future economic conditions in regional and national markets and their effects on sales, prices and costs; (28) the performance of Enable Midstream, the amount of cash distributions CenterPoint Energy receives from Enable Midstream, and the value of its interest in Enable Midstream, and factors that may have a material impact on such performance, cash distributions and value, including certain of the factors specified above and: (A) the integration of the operations of the businesses contributed to Enable Midstream; (B) the achievement of anticipated operational and commercial synergies and expected growth opportunities, and the successful implementation of Enable Midstream's business plan; (C) competitive conditions in the midstream industry, and actions taken by Enable Midstream's customers and competitors, including the extent and timing of the entry of additional competition in the markets served by Enable Midstream; (D) the timing and extent of changes in the supply of natural gas and associated commodity prices, particularly natural gas and natural gas liquids, the competitive effects of the available pipeline capacity in the regions served by Enable Midstream, and the effects of geographic and seasonal commodity price differentials, including the effects of these circumstances on re-contracting available capacity on Enable Midstream's interstate pipelines; (E) the demand for crude oil, natural gas, NGLs and transportation and storage services; (F) changes in tax status; (G) access to growth capital; and (H) the availability and prices of raw materials for current and future construction projects; (29) effective tax rate; (30) the effect of changes in and application of accounting standards and pronouncements; (31) other factors discussed in CenterPoint Energy's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2016, as well as in CenterPoint Energy's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2017 and other reports CenterPoint Energy or its subsidiaries may file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures by CenterPoint Energy in Providing Guidance
In addition to presenting its financial results in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), including presentation of net income and diluted earnings per share, CenterPoint Energy also provides guidance based on adjusted net income and adjusted diluted earnings per share, which are non-GAAP financial measures. Generally, a non-GAAP financial measure is a numerical measure of a company's historical or future financial performance that excludes or includes amounts that are not normally excluded or included in the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure. CenterPoint Energy's adjusted net income and adjusted diluted earnings per share calculation excludes from net income and diluted earnings per share, respectively, the impact of ZENS and related securities and mark-to-market gains or losses resulting from the company's Energy Services business. CenterPoint Energy is unable to present a quantitative reconciliation of forward looking adjusted net income and adjusted diluted earnings per share because changes in the value of ZENS and related securities and mark-to-market gains or losses resulting from the company's Energy Services business are not estimable.
Management evaluates the company's financial performance in part based on adjusted net income and adjusted diluted earnings per share. We believe that presenting these non-GAAP financial measures enhances an investor's understanding of CenterPoint Energy's overall financial performance by providing them with an additional meaningful and relevant comparison of current and anticipated future results across periods. The adjustments made in these non-GAAP financial measures exclude items that Management believes does not most accurately reflect the company's fundamental business performance. These excluded items are reflected in the reconciliation tables of this news release, where applicable. CenterPoint Energy's adjusted net income and adjusted diluted earnings per share non-GAAP financial measures should be considered as a supplement to, and not as a substitute for, or superior to, net income and diluted earnings per share, which respectively are the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures. These non-GAAP financial measures also may be different than non-GAAP financial measures used by other companies.