CenterPoint Energy announces Indiana Electric and Houston Electric to combine into one Electric organization

Houston – Aug. 3, 2020 – Consistent with CenterPoint Energy’s focus on unlocking the power and potential within its premium regulated utilities, the company is combining Indiana Electric and Houston Electric into one Electric organization, effective immediately. The alignment of CenterPoint Energy’s generation, transmission, distribution and engineering areas into one organization will allow for greater ability to share best practices for service, reliability and technology across its footprint, as well as deliver on opportunities for long-term efficiencies in service to customers.

“Our Electric business is one of the cornerstones of CenterPoint Energy’s new utility-focused strategy and supports our continued commitment to optimize and drive return on our regulated assets,” said Dave Lesar, President and Chief Executive Officer of CenterPoint Energy. “Our new integration strategies underscore the importance of the Electric business to our broader CenterPoint Energy portfolio.”

Lesar added, “By combining our two complementary electric utility businesses, we will achieve a major landmark for our electric companies. The decision to establish one Electric organization comes at a critical time, as we are preparing to implement our Integrated Resource Plan preferred portfolio for our future Indiana generation business. The plan outlines how we will generate electricity for our customers for the next 20 years and focuses on reliability and risk mitigation, while saving electric customers an estimated $320 million and lowering carbon emissions by 75% over 2005 levels.”

In addition, in order to support the ongoing advancement of its corporate identity, value to customers, and clarity to shareholders, CenterPoint Energy will rebrand Vectren as CenterPoint Energy. The rebrand will include new signs and markings, but the same employees will be seen representing the organization, working in neighborhoods to restore and maintain service, and continuing to volunteer in the communities where they have for many years.

“Our one-brand approach is expected to drive long-term benefits with regards to our systems and customer-facing touch points,” said Lesar. “It also shows our customers, communities, stakeholders, partners and suppliers that we are one company, united by our shared commitment to deliver energy to the millions we serve across our service territory.”

About CenterPoint Energy

As the only investor-owned electric and gas utility based in Texas, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) is an energy delivery company with electric transmission & distribution, power generation and natural gas distribution operations that serve more than 7 million metered customers in Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas. As of March 31, 2020, the company owns approximately $33 billion in assets and also owns 53.7 percent of the common units representing limited partner interests in Enable Midstream Partners, LP, a publicly traded master limited partnership that owns, operates and develops strategically located natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With approximately 9,600 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.

Forward Looking Statement

This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used in this news release, the words "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "goal," "intend," "may," "objective," "plan," "potential," "predict," "projection," "should," "target," "will" or other similar words are intended to identify forward-looking statements. 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 CenterPoint Energy’s strategic focus on its regulated utilities and the related optimization of its regulated assets, the combination of the Houston Electric and Indiana Electric businesses, including opportunities with respect to operational efficiencies, reliability, technology and service, the expected benefits derived from the preferred generation portfolio in the Integrated Resources Plan, including reliability and risk mitigation, estimated customer savings and carbon emission reduction targets, the anticipated benefits derived from the rebranding initiative, 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. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the provided forward-looking information include risks and uncertainties relating to: (1) the impact of COVID-19; (2) financial market conditions; (3) general economic conditions; (4) the timing and impact of future regulatory and legislative decisions; (5) effects of competition; (6) weather variations; (7) changes in business plans; and (8) other factors, risks and uncertainties discussed in CenterPoint Energy's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, CenterPoint Energy's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2020 and other reports CenterPoint Energy or its subsidiaries may file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


2020-08-03T23:15:00Z
CenterPoint Energy names two leadership positions

Houston – July 30, 2020 – CenterPoint Energy today announced the promotions of two company leaders:

Tony Gardner has been promoted to Vice President, Customer Experience. Gardner joined CenterPoint Energy in 2012 and has more than 18 years in customer experience roles, including leading the Home Service Plus business, customer billing, contact centers, credit and collections and vendor relations. In 2018, Gardner served as the co-lead for the Customer Operations integration team during the project to combine CenterPoint Energy and Vectren operations. In his new role, which he's been serving on an interim basis since September 2019, he provides strategic leadership to CenterPoint Energy's utility customer experience value chain, including Customer Service, Credit, Collections and Billing, as well as Performance and Workforce Management. Gardner currently serves as a board member for Share the Warmth, which assists customers with their heating needs, and Vectren Employee Activities Organization, which funds programs for company employees and retirees. He is also a mentor for Communities in Schools and a member of National Society of Leadership and Success.
 
Miles Kenny has been promoted to Vice President of Gas Supply. Kenny joined CenterPoint Energy in 2012 and has more than 20 years of experience in the energy industry, holding various leadership positions. He has been an integral leader in several CenterPoint Energy's largest supply and pipeline negotiations as well as multiple regulatory efforts. In his new role, Kenny oversees Gas Supply and Transportation, Gas Supply Administration and System Operations. In 2018, he was appointed to the United States Department of Energy's National Petroleum Council task force, focused on supply reliability, where he led the Resiliency subgroup. He is a founding board member of the L3 Foundation, an organization looking for a cure for pediatric cancer. Kenny is also president of the Kingwood Men's High School Lacrosse Club.

2020-07-30T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy names three executive positions

Houston – July 23, 2020 – CenterPoint Energy today announced the promotions of three company executives:

Lynne Harkel-Rumford has been promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. She joined CenterPoint Energy's Legal department in 1999, moved to the Human Resources department in 2014, and has served in a variety of leadership roles with increasing responsibility. Harkel-Rumford has extensive experience in compensation and benefits matters. In her new role, she will oversee several corporate functions, including Talent, Compensation and Benefits, Labor Relations, Learning and Organizational Development, Communications and Community Relations, Facilities Management and Corporate Security. Harkel-Rumford is a member of the Houston Bar Association and Texas Bar and serves on the board of Target Hunger in Houston.

Monica Karuturi has been promoted to Senior Vice President and General Counsel. Since joining CenterPoint Energy in 2014, she has led more than $20 billion in mergers and acquisitions and financing transactions. During her tenure with the company, Karuturi has served in various leadership roles, including counsel for corporate, finance and strategic transactions. In her new role, she will oversee Corporate, Finance, Governance, Securities and Commercial law, Litigation and Claims, Internal Audit, Enterprise Risk Management, Insurance and Ethics, Compliance and Privacy. Karuturi was appointed as a Commissioner of the Texas Access to Justice Commission by the Texas Supreme Court in June 2015. She is a member of the Houston Pro Bono Joint Initiative Planning Committee, on the Advisory Council of the Tahirih Justice Center, and a member of the Legal Services to the Poor in Civil Matters Committee of the Texas Bar Association. She also serves on the Board of the CenterPoint Energy Foundation.

Robert McRae has been promoted to Vice President and Treasurer. He joined CenterPoint Energy in 2011and has played an integral role in the Finance organization, including his leadership of the integration planning team that successfully managed the Finance and Accounting areas and activities for the CenterPoint Energy-Vectren transaction. In his new role, McRae will oversee financing and investing activities, cash management, bank relationships, benefit plan administration, compliance reporting and corporate credit risk functions. He will also be responsible for managing financial risk as it relates to treasury operations, including annual interest expense, debt, the company's commercial paper program and revolving credit facilities.

2020-07-23T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy shares important natural gas safety tips in preparation for potentially severe weather

Houston – July 22, 2020 – CenterPoint Energy continues to monitor the forecasts closely as potentially severe weather heads toward the Gulf of Mexico. The company urges customers to keep important pre- and post-storm natural gas safety tips top of mind to stay safe.

  • Do not turn off your natural gas service at the meter in advance of the storm; doing so could allow water to enter the natural gas lines should flooding occur. If you wish to discontinue gas service, turn off the natural gas at each appliance.
  • Always 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 888-876-5786 and 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.
  • Before cleaning debris, digging on your property or to locate underground natural gas lines and other underground utility lines, call 811, the nationwide Call Before You Dig number.
  • 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.

For more information, natural gas safety tips and other resources, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/WeatherSafety

2020-07-22T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy encourages customers to utilize payment arrangements, bill assistance during COVID-19

Houston – July 16, 2020 - CenterPoint Energy is encouraging customers to contact the company if they are experiencing financial difficulty and may need payment assistance, arrangements or extensions during the COVID-19 situation. While CenterPoint Energy has currently suspended natural gas service disconnections, customers are encouraged to call now to avoid a disruption once the suspension ends. 

"We remain committed to keeping our customers' interests and well-being top of mind during the pandemic and ask that they contact us as soon as possible so we can offer bill payment assistance," said Tal Centers, vice president of Gas Operations in Texas. "While we have not yet resumed disconnections due to nonpayment, we want to ensure customers have plenty of time to contact us and make arrangements for outstanding balances."

If you need payment assistance, we encourage you to contact customer service for guidance regarding payment programs in your area. In many cases, as part of COVID-19, qualification guidelines for assistance have been relaxed to assist as many customers as possible.

Customers can visit CenterPointEnergy.com/PaymentAssistance or log into CenterPointEnergy.com/MyAccount to request a payment extension or arrangement.

CenterPoint Energy also asks that customers be mindful of scammers targeting utility customers during this time. The company would never call and demand payment over the phone or by prepaid debit card to avoid disconnection.

 

2020-07-16T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy along with HomeServe USA bringing optional home protection plans to Arkansas

Houston – July 6, 2020 – Today, CenterPoint Energy (NYSE: CNP) and HomeServe USA Corp. (HomeServe), a provider of emergency home repair programs to homeowners nationwide, are announcing an extension of their business relationship to bring home protection plans to CenterPoint Energy’s Arkansas natural gas customers. Since launching June 2018 in other markets, CenterPoint Energy customers have already purchased optional HomeServe plans, saving more than $10.1 million in repair costs.

The program from HomeServe, introduced by CenterPoint Energy, will offer a suite of optional plans covering repairs to a variety of energy-consuming and home systems, including customer-owned natural gas lines, heating and cooling systems, interior and exterior electric lines, water heaters, and exterior water and sewer service lines.

The service plans are designed to protect homeowners from the inconvenience and unexpected expenses associated with repairs to these critical household systems. Another benefit is plans will help repair or maintain energy-consuming appliances, which will help them use energy more efficiently.

“CenterPoint Energy prides itself on being a trusted energy advisor, so we are pleased to work with HomeServe to provide our customers access to these new, optional services,” said James Copeland, CenterPoint Energy’s Home Service Business Leader. “CenterPoint Energy provides high-quality, highly rated energy delivery to our customers. In fact, J.D. Power has ranked us #1 in Customer Satisfaction with Residential Natural Gas Service in the South among Large Utilities, 3 Years in a Row.* These new, optional plans from HomeServe are a natural service extension, and we believe they will provide homeowners with a low-cost, peace-of mind alternative for unexpected repairs to covered systems.”

The Gas Line service plan, for example, will offer homeowners protection against the expense and inconvenience of repairs to the customer-owned natural gas line from the CenterPoint Energy meter up to and including the connectors to each natural gas appliance inside the home. The plan would also cover repairs to the piping leading to connectors to natural gas appliances outside around the property, such as a natural gas grill or natural gas pool heater.

“HomeServe shares the same level of commitment to quality customer service as CenterPoint Energy,” said John Kitzie, CEO of HomeServe. “Our cost-effective service plans provide a better way for customers to secure and pay for repairs through our reliable network of qualified local contractors.”

For more information on these plans, call CenterPoint Energy at 833-273-4663 or visit ProtectYourPipes.com.

*CenterPoint Energy received the highest score in the South Large segment of the J.D. Power 2017‐2019 Gas Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Studies (tied in 2017) of customers’ satisfaction with their residential gas provider. Visit jdpower.com/awards.
 
For more information:
 
CenterPoint Energy
Ross Corson                            
Media Access Line: 713-619-5143
 
HomeServe USA
Myles Meehan                                                 
Phone: 203-356-4259                                       
 

2020-07-06T21:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy urges customers to be on alert for utility service disconnection scam

Houston – June 17, 2020 – CenterPoint Energy is alerting Houston-area customers that its Property Rights Hot Line number (713) 207-6348 is being used to call customers threatening to disconnect their service. Calls are being made in English and Spanish.

Be aware that scammers often use Caller ID spoofing software to misrepresent the source of a phone call or provide you with a fake "verification" phone number. If you need to verify your account status, call Customer Service at the number listed on your bill or log in to your account on our website.

While CenterPoint Energy bills customers for natural gas service, we do not send electric bills and we do not demand credit or debit card information or cash payments when collecting on past due accounts.

Additionally:

  • If you receive a suspicious call, hang up immediately. 
  • If you need to verify your account status you may call customer service at the number listed on your bill or log in to your account on our website.
  • Do not send money in any form until you have verified your account status with Customer Service. 

If you believe you have been a victim of a scam, you may:


CenterPoint Energy urge a los clientes a estar alerta para estafa de desconexión del servicio público

Houston – 17 de junio de 2020– CenterPoint Energy está alertando a los clientes del área de Houston que su número de Línea Directa de Derechos de Propiedad (713) 207-6348 se está utilizando para llamar a los clientes y amenazar con desconectar su servicio. Las llamadas se están realizando en inglés y español.

Tenga en cuenta que los estafadores a menudo usan software de falsificación de identidad de llamadas para falsificar la fuente de una llamada telefónica o proporcionarle un número de teléfono falso de "verificación". Si necesita verificar el estado de su cuenta, llame a Servicio al Cliente al número que aparece en su factura o inicie sesión en su cuenta en nuestro sitio web.

Mientras que CenterPoint Energy factura a los clientes por el servicio de gas natural, no enviamos facturas de electricidad y no exigimos información de tarjetas de crédito o débito o pagos en efectivo al cobrar en cuentas atrasadas.

Adicionalmente:

  • Si recibe una llamada sospechosa, cuelgue de inmediato.
  • Si necesita verificar el estado de su cuenta, puede llamar al servicio al cliente al número que aparece en su factura o iniciar sesión en su cuenta en nuestro sitio web.
  • No envíe dinero de ninguna forma hasta que haya verificado el estado de su cuenta con el Servicio al Cliente.

Si cree que ha sido víctima de una estafa, puede:

  • Presentar una denuncia con en el departamento de policía local
  • Presentar una denuncia ante el FBI en https://www.ic3.gov
  • Presentar una queja ante la Comisión Federal de Comercio en https://www.ftc.gov
2020-06-17T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy shares important natural gas safety tips in preparation for potentially severe weather

Houston – June 5, 2020 – CenterPoint Energy continues to monitor the forecasts closely as potentially severe weather heads toward the Gulf of Mexico. The company urges customers to keep important pre- and post-storm natural gas safety tips top of mind to stay safe.

  • Do not turn off your natural gas service at the meter in advance of the storm; doing so could allow water to enter the natural gas lines should flooding occur. If you wish to discontinue gas service, turn off the natural gas at each appliance.
  • Always 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 888-876-5786 and 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.
  • Before cleaning debris, digging on your property or to locate underground natural gas lines and other underground utility lines, call 811, the nationwide Call Before You Dig number.
  • 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.

 

For more information, natural gas safety tips and other resources, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/WeatherSafety

2020-06-05T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy gears up for hurricane season

Houston – June 1, 2020 – Hurricane season begins June 1, and CenterPoint Energy encourages customers to have an emergency plan, particularly if they depend on electricity for life-sustaining equipment. As a part of CenterPoint Energy's commitment to restore services as quickly and safely as possible following a severe weather event, the company has an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). CenterPoint Energy's employees, across all areas, are called upon to support the company­­'s EOP.

"Hurricanes are unpredictable, which makes it hard to anticipate the impact to our electric system," said Randy Pryor, vice president of Distribution Operations for CenterPoint Energy. "Based on the severity of the event, customers should be prepared for outages and have resources to be without power for at least two weeks or possibly longer."

CenterPoint Energy recommends that customers be prepared to be without service according to the following guidelines:

HURRICANE WIND SPEED ESTIMATED OUTAGE*
CATEGORY 1 winds 74-95 mph 7 to 10 days
CATEGORY 2winds 96-110 mph 2 to 3 weeks
CATEGORY 3winds 111-130 mph 3 to 5 weeks
CATEGORY 4winds 131-155 mph 4 to 6 weeks
CATEGORY 5winds 156 mph and up 6 to 8 weeks

  *Individual restoration times will vary.

In response to COVID-19, CenterPoint Energy implemented its Pandemic Preparedness Plan to help ensure safe, reliable delivery of energy and services to homes and businesses. In the event of a hurricane, the company will continue to take the necessary steps to protect the safety and well-being of customers, employees, contractors and communities.

"We are dedicated to restoring our electrical transmission and distribution system safely and effectively, while also taking the necessary safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We are asking customers to respect social distancing guidelines and not approach working employees and contractors," added Pryor.

CenterPoint Energy has implemented additional measures to protect the safety and health of its customers, employees and contractors. These safety measures include:

  • Equipping employees with hand sanitizer in their vehicles as well as latex gloves – in addition to standard protective equipment;
  • Directing field employees to attempt to resolve service issues without entering homes or businesses;
  • Following social distancing guidelines and wearing protective equipment if entering businesses to provide service;
  • Implementing a telework approach for employees who can perform their job responsibilities from home or a remote location;
  • Increasing cleaning and disinfecting frequency of facilities and vehicles;
  • Leveraging technology to minimize face-to-face contact and meetings;
  • Emphasizing good hygiene, including washing and sanitizing hands;
  • Requiring employees to stay home if they are feeling sick;
  • Suspending international air travel and non-essential domestic air travel; and
  • Minimizing contact with visitors and others at company facilities.

For the latest information on power outages:

No two storms are alike and, as was the case with Hurricane Harvey, flooding can have a significant impact on natural gas operations. For information on natural gas safety, electric safety and other resources, visit CenterPointEnergy.com/StormCenter.

 

2020-06-01T05:00:00Z
CenterPoint Energy reports first quarter 2020 loss of $2.44 per diluted share; $0.50 earnings per diluted share from utility operations and $0.10 per diluted share from midstream investments on a guidance basis, excluding impairment charges

Houston - May 7, 2020 - CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) today reported a loss available to common shareholders of $1,228 million, or loss of $2.44 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2020, compared to income available to common shareholders of $140 million, or $0.28 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2019.  The company recognized $1,568 million of after-tax non-cash impairment charges and losses on assets held for sale in the first quarter of 2020, which are discussed in detail below.

On a guidance basis, first quarter 2020 earnings were $0.50 per diluted share from utility operations and $0.10 per diluted share from midstream investments, excluding non-cash impairment charges. First quarter 2019 earnings, on a guidance basis, were $0.41 per diluted share from utility operations and $0.05 per diluted share from midstream investments. See "Reconciliation of Consolidated income available to common shareholders and diluted earnings (loss) per share (GAAP) to adjusted income and adjusted diluted earnings per share (Non-GAAP)" below.

"During these unprecedented times, I am proud of the tremendous efforts our employees are making every day to continue providing safe and reliable electricity and natural gas to our customers," said John W. Somerhalder II, interim president and chief executive officer of CenterPoint Energy. "I would like to extend a special thank you to our operations personnel who are on the front lines keeping the electricity on and the natural gas flowing during a time when our customers need them most. Despite the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic and less-than-favorable weather, I am pleased to report that CenterPoint Energy delivered strong first quarter results driven by customer growth, rate relief, disciplined cost management and favorable tax benefits."

Business Segments

Houston Electric - Transmission & Distribution

The Houston electric - transmission & distribution segment reported net income of $37 million for the first quarter of 2020, compared with $30 million for the first quarter of 2019. Net income for the first quarter of 2020 included $3 million of after-tax severance costs. Net income for the first quarter of 2019 included $8 million of after-tax merger-related expenses.  On a guidance basis, first quarter 2020 net income was $40 million, compared with $38 million for the first quarter of 2019.  On a guidance basis, net income in the first quarter of 2020 benefited primarily from customer growth and lower operations and maintenance expense. These benefits were partially offset by increased depreciation and amortization and other taxes expense, lower equity return, primarily due to the annual true-up of transition charges, and lower miscellaneous revenues.

Indiana Electric – Integrated

The Indiana electric - integrated segment reported a net loss of $171 million for the first quarter of 2020, compared with a net loss of $9 million for the first quarter of 2019. The net loss for the first quarter of 2020 included $185 million of non-cash impairment charges. The net loss for the first quarter of 2019 included $18 million of after-tax merger-related expenses.  On a guidance basis, excluding non-cash impairment charges, first quarter 2020 net income was $14 million, compared with $9 million for the first quarter of 2019.  On a guidance basis, net income in the first quarter of 2020 benefited primarily from an additional month of earnings from the electric utility acquired in the merger in February 2019 and rate relief. These benefits were partially offset by lower usage, primarily due to unfavorable weather.

Natural Gas Distribution

The natural gas distribution segment reported net income of $204 million for the first quarter of 2020, compared with $120 million for the first quarter of 2019. Net income for the first quarter of 2020 includes $3 million of after-tax severance costs. Net income for the first quarter of 2019 included $44 million of after-tax merger-related expenses.  On a guidance basis, first quarter 2020 net income was $207 million, compared with $164 million for the first quarter of 2019. On a guidance basis, net income in the first quarter of 2020 benefited primarily from an additional month of earnings from the gas jurisdictions acquired in the merger in February 2019, rate relief, customer growth and lower operations and maintenance expense. These increases were partially offset by increased depreciation and amortization and other taxes expense, interest expense and lower usage, primarily due to unfavorable weather.

Midstream Investments

The midstream investments segment reported a net loss of $1,127 million for the first quarter of 2020.  This loss included after-tax non-cash impairment charges totaling $1,177 million, composed of the company's impairment of its investment in Enable Midstream Partners, LP ("Enable") of $1,166 million and the company's share, $11 million, of impairment charges Enable recorded for goodwill and long-lived assets during the first quarter of 2020.  Excluding non-cash impairment charges, first quarter of 2020 net income was $50 million, compared with $24 million for the first quarter of 2019.  For further detail, please refer to Enable's investor materials provided during its first quarter 2020 earnings call on May 6, 2020.

Corporate and Other

The corporate and other segment reported net income of $4 million for the first quarter of 2020, compared with a net loss of $22 million for the first quarter of 2019.  Net income for the first quarter of 2020 included $7 million of after-tax merger-related expenses and severance costs. The net loss for the first quarter of 2019 included $12 million of after-tax merger-related expenses.

Discontinued Operations - Energy Services and Infrastructure Services

Discontinued operations reported a net loss of $146 million for the first quarter of 2020, compared with net income of $26 million for the first quarter of 2019.  The net loss for the first quarter of 2020 included $111 million of after-tax non-cash impairment charges at Energy Services recorded for goodwill and loss on assets held for sale, plus an additional after-tax loss of $4 million for cost to sell, and $80 million of after-tax non-cash impairment charges at Infrastructure Services recorded for goodwill, plus an additional after-tax loss of $11 million for cost to sell. Results related to discontinued operations are excluded from the company's guidance basis results.

Earnings Outlook

To provide greater transparency on utility earnings, 2020 guidance will be presented in two components, a guidance basis Utility EPS range and a Midstream Investments EPS expected range.

  • Reiterate 2020 guidance basis Utility EPS range of $1.10 - $1.20
  • 2020 - 2024 target of 5 - 7% compound annual guidance basis Utility EPS growth, using the 2020 range of $1.10 - $1.20 as the starting EPS, assuming the COVID-19 scenario described below
  • 2020 Midstream Investments EPS expected range is $0.15 - $0.18 

Utility EPS Guidance Range

  • Utility EPS guidance range includes net income from Houston Electric, Indiana Electric and Natural Gas Distribution segments, as well as after tax operating income from the Corporate and Other segment.
  • The 2020 Utility EPS guidance range considers operations performance to date and assumptions for certain significant variables that may impact earnings, such as customer growth (approximately 2% for electric operations and 1% for natural gas distribution) and usage including normal weather, throughput, recovery of capital invested through rate cases and other rate filings, effective tax rates, financing activities and related interest rates, regulatory and judicial proceedings, anticipated cost savings as a result of the merger and reflects dilution and earnings as if the newly issued preferred stock were issued as common stock.  In addition, the Utility EPS guidance range incorporates a COVID-19 scenario range of $0.05 - $0.08 which assumes reduced demand levels with April as the peak and reflects anticipated deferral and recovery of incremental expenses, including bad debt. The COVID-19 scenario also assumes a gradual re-opening of the economy in CenterPoint Energy's service territories, leading to diminishing levels of demand reduction, which would continue through August.  To the extent actual recovery deviates from these COVID-19 scenario assumptions, the 2020 Utility EPS guidance range may not be met and our projected full-year guidance range may change.  The Utility EPS guidance range also assumes an allocation of corporate overhead based upon its relative earnings contribution. Corporate overhead consists of interest expense, preferred stock dividend requirements, income on Enable preferred units and other items directly attributable to the parent along with the associated income taxes.
  • Utility EPS guidance excludes:
    • Certain integration and transaction-related fees and expenses associated with the merger
    • Severance costs
    • Midstream Investments and allocation of associated corporate overhead
    • Results related to Infrastructure Services and Energy Services, including anticipated costs and impairment resulting from the sale of those businesses
    • Earnings or losses from the change in value of ZENS and related securities
    • Changes in accounting standards

In providing this 2020 guidance, CenterPoint Energy uses a non-GAAP measure of adjusted diluted earnings per share that does not consider the items noted above and other potential impacts, including other unusual items, which could have a material impact on GAAP reported results for the applicable guidance period. CenterPoint Energy is unable to present a quantitative reconciliation of forward looking adjusted diluted earnings per share because changes in the value of ZENS and related securities are not estimable as they are highly variable and difficult to predict due to various factors outside of management’s control.

Midstream Investments EPS Expected Range

The 2020 Midstream Investments EPS expected range is $0.15 - $0.18. In providing this EPS range for Midstream Investments, the company assumes a 53.7 percent limited partner ownership interest in Enable and includes the amortization of its basis differential in Enable and assumes an allocation of CenterPoint Energy corporate overhead based upon Midstream Investments relative earnings contribution. The Midstream Investments EPS expected range reflects dilution and earnings as if CenterPoint Energy's newly issued preferred stock were issued as common stock. The Midstream Investments EPS expected range takes into account such factors as Enable's most recent public outlook for 2020 dated May 6, 2020, and effective tax rates. The company does not include other potential impacts such as any changes in accounting standards, impairments or Enable'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 quarter ended March 31, 2020. A copy of that report is available on the company’s website, under the Investors section. Investors and others should note that we may announce material information using SEC filings, press releases, public conference calls, webcasts, and the Investor Relations page of our website. In the future, we will continue to use these channels to distribute material information about the company and to communicate important information about the company, key personnel, corporate initiatives, regulatory updates and other matters. Information that we post on our website could be deemed material; therefore we encourage investors, the media, our customers, business partners and others interested in our company to review the information we post on our website.

Webcast of Earnings Conference Call

CenterPoint Energy's management will host an earnings conference call on Thursday, May 7, 2020, 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.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. is an energy delivery company with regulated utility businesses in eight states and a competitive energy businesses footprint in more than 30 states. Through its electric transmission & distribution, power generation and natural gas distribution businesses, the company serves more than 7 million metered customers in Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas. CenterPoint Energy's competitive energy businesses include natural gas marketing and energy-related services, energy efficiency and sustainability solutions, and owning and operating intrastate natural gas pipeline systems that help fund utility operations. As of March 31, 2020, the company owned approximately $33 billion in assets and also owned 53.7 percent of the common units representing limited partner interests in Enable Midstream Partners, LP, a publicly traded master limited partnership that owns, operates and develops strategically located natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets. With approximately 9,900 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com.

This news release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used in this news release, the words "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "forecast," "goal," "intend," "may," "objective," "plan," "potential," "predict," "projection," "should," "target," "will" or other similar words are intended to identify forward-looking statements. 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 capital investments, future earnings, and future financial performance and results of operations, including, but not limited to earnings guidance, impact of COVID-19, including with respect to regulatory 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.

Risks Related to CenterPoint Energy

Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the provided forward-looking information include risks and uncertainties relating to: (1) the performance of Enable Midstream Partners, LP (Enable), the amount of cash distributions CenterPoint Energy receives from Enable, Enable's ability to redeem the Enable Series A Preferred Units in certain circumstances and the value of CenterPoint Energy's interest in Enable, and factors that may have a material impact on such performance, cash distributions and value, including factors such as: (A) competitive conditions in the midstream industry, and actions taken by Enable's customers and competitors, including drilling, production and capital spending decisions of third parties and the extent and timing of the entry of additional competition in the markets served by Enable; (B) the timing and extent of changes in the supply of natural gas and associated commodity prices, particularly prices of natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs), the competitive effects of the available pipeline capacity in the regions served by Enable, and the effects of geographic and seasonal commodity price differentials, including the effects of these circumstances on re-contracting available capacity on Enable's interstate pipelines; (C) economic effects of the recent actions of Saudi Arabia,  Russia and other oil-producing countries, which have resulted in a substantial decrease in oil and natural gas prices and the combined impact of these events and COVID-19 on commodity prices; (D) the demand for crude oil, natural gas, NGLs and transportation and storage services; (E) environmental and other governmental regulations, including the availability of drilling permits and the regulation of hydraulic fracturing; (F) recording of goodwill, long-lived asset or other than temporary impairment charges by or related to Enable; (G) the timing of payments from Enable's customers under existing contracts, including minimum volume commitment payments; (H) changes in tax status; and (I) access to debt and equity capital; (2) the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on CenterPoint Energy's and Enable's operations, business and financial condition, the industries and communities they serve, U.S. and world financial markets and supply chains, potential regulatory actions and changes in customer and stakeholder behaviors relating thereto; (3) volatility and a substantial recent decline in the markets for oil and natural gas as a result of the actions of crude-oil exporting nations and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and reduced worldwide consumption due to the COVID-19 pandemic; (4) CenterPoint Energy's expected benefits of the merger with Vectren Corporation (Vectren) and integration, including the outcome of shareholder litigation filed against Vectren that could reduce anticipated benefits of the merger, as well as the ability to successfully integrate the Vectren businesses and to realize anticipated benefits and commercial opportunities; (5) the recording of impairment charges, including any impairment or loss associated with the sale of Infrastructure Services and Energy Services; (6) industrial, commercial and residential growth in CenterPoint Energy's service territories and changes in market demand, including the demand for CenterPoint Energy's non-utility products and services and effects of energy efficiency measures and demographic patterns; (7) timely and appropriate rate actions that allow recovery of costs and a reasonable return on investment; (8) future economic conditions in regional and national markets and their effect on sales, prices and costs; (9) weather variations and other natural phenomena, including the impact of severe weather events on operations and capital; (10) state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments affecting various aspects of CenterPoint Energy's and Enable's businesses, including, among others, energy deregulation or re-regulation, pipeline integrity and safety and changes in regulation and legislation pertaining to trade, health care, finance and actions regarding the rates charged by our regulated businesses; (11) tax legislation, including the effects of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the comprehensive tax reform legislation informally referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (which includes any potential changes to interest deductibility) and uncertainties involving state commissions' and local municipalities' regulatory requirements and determinations regarding the treatment of excess deferred income taxes and CenterPoint Energy's rates; (12) CenterPoint Energy's ability to mitigate weather impacts through normalization or rate mechanisms, and the effectiveness of such mechanisms; (13) the timing and extent of changes in commodity prices, particularly natural gas and coal, and the effects of geographic and seasonal commodity price differentials; (14) the ability of CenterPoint Energy's and CERC's non-utility business (Energy Services) to effectively optimize opportunities related to natural gas price volatility and storage activities, including weather-related impacts; (15) actions by credit rating agencies, including any potential downgrades to credit ratings; (16) changes in interest rates and their impact on CenterPoint Energy's costs of borrowing and the valuation of its pension benefit obligation; (17) problems with regulatory approval, legislative actions, construction, implementation of necessary technology or other issues with respect to major capital projects that result in delays or cancellation or in cost overruns that cannot be recouped in rates; (18) the availability and prices of raw materials and services and changes in labor for current and future construction projects; (19) local, state and federal legislative and regulatory actions or developments relating to the environment, including, among others, those related to global climate change, air emissions, carbon, waste water discharges and the handling and disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCR) that could impact the continued operation, and/or cost recovery of generation plant costs and related assets; (20) the impact of unplanned facility outages or other closures; (21) any direct or indirect effects on CenterPoint Energy's or Enable's facilities, operations and financial condition resulting from terrorism, cyber-attacks, data security breaches or other attempts to disrupt CenterPoint Energy's businesses or the businesses of third parties, or other catastrophic events such as fires, ice, earthquakes, explosions, leaks, floods, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, pandemic health events or other occurrences; (22) CenterPoint Energy's ability to invest planned capital and the timely recovery of CenterPoint Energy's existing and future investments, including those related to Indiana Electric's anticipated Integrated Resource Plan; (23) CenterPoint Energy's ability to successfully construct and operate electric generating facilities, including complying with applicable environmental standards and the implementation of a well-balanced energy and resource mix, as appropriate; (24) CenterPoint Energy's ability to control operation and maintenance costs; (25) the sufficiency of CenterPoint Energy's insurance coverage, including availability, cost, coverage and terms and ability to recover claims; (26) the investment performance of CenterPoint Energy's pension and postretirement benefit plans; (27) commercial bank and financial market conditions, CenterPoint Energy's access to capital, the cost of such capital, and the results of CenterPoint Energy's financing and refinancing efforts, including availability of funds in the debt capital markets; (28) changes in rates of inflation; (29) inability of various counterparties to meet their obligations to CenterPoint Energy; (30) non-payment for CenterPoint Energy's services due to financial distress of its customers; (31) the extent and effectiveness of CenterPoint Energy's and Enable's risk management and hedging activities, including but not limited to, financial and weather hedges and commodity risk management activities; (32) timely and appropriate regulatory actions, which include actions allowing securitization, for any future hurricanes or natural disasters or other recovery of costs; (33) CenterPoint Energy's or Enable's potential business strategies and strategic initiatives, including restructurings, joint ventures and acquisitions or dispositions of assets or businesses, including the proposed sale of Energy Services, which CenterPoint Energy and Enable cannot assure will be completed or will have the anticipated benefits to CenterPoint Energy or Enable; (34) the development of new opportunities and the performance of projects undertaken by ESG, including, among other factors, the level of success in bidding contracts and cancellation and/or reductions in the scope of projects by customers, and obligations related to warranties and guarantees; (35) acquisition and merger activities involving CenterPoint Energy or its competitors, including the ability to successfully complete merger, acquisition and divestiture plans; (36) CenterPoint Energy's or Enable's ability to recruit, effectively transition and retain management and key employees and maintain good labor relations; (37) the outcome of litigation; (38) the ability of retail electric providers (REPs), including REP affiliates of NRG Energy, Inc. and Vistra Energy Corp., formerly known as TCEH Corp., to satisfy their obligations to CenterPoint Energy and its subsidiaries; (39) changes in technology, particularly with respect to efficient battery storage or the emergence or growth of new, developing or alternative sources of generation; (40) the impact of alternate energy sources on the demand for natural gas; (41) the timing and outcome of any audits, disputes and other proceedings related to taxes; (42) the effective tax rates; (43) the transition to a replacement for the LIBOR benchmark interest rate; (44) the effect of changes in and application of accounting standards and pronouncements; and (45) other factors discussed in CenterPoint Energy's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, CenterPoint Energy's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2020 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 income (loss) available to common shareholders and diluted earnings (loss) per share, CenterPoint Energy also provides guidance based on adjusted 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.

To provide greater transparency on utility earnings, CenterPoint Energy's 2020 guidance will be presented in two components, a guidance basis Utility EPS range and a Midstream Investments EPS expected range. The 2020 Utility EPS guidance range includes net income from Houston Electric, Indiana Electric and Natural Gas Distribution business segments, as well as after tax operating income from the Corporate and Other business segment. The 2020 Utility EPS guidance range considers operations performance to date and assumptions for certain significant variables that may impact earnings, such as customer growth (approximately 2% for electric operations and 1% for natural gas distribution) and usage including normal weather, throughput, recovery of capital invested through rate cases and other rate filings, effective tax rates, financing activities and related interest rates, regulatory and judicial proceedings, anticipated cost savings as a result of the merger and reflects dilution and earnings as if the recently issued preferred stock were issued as common stock.  In addition, the 2020 Utility EPS guidance range incorporates a COVID-19 scenario range of $0.05 - $0.08 which assumes reduced demand levels with April as the peak and reflects anticipated deferral and recovery of incremental expenses, including bad debt. The COVID-19 scenario also assumes a gradual re-opening of the economy in CenterPoint Energy's service territories, leading to diminishing levels of demand reduction, which would continue through August.  To the extent actual recovery deviates from these COVID-19 scenario assumptions, the 2020 Utility EPS guidance range may not be met and our projected full-year guidance range may change.  The 2020 Utility EPS guidance range also assumes an allocation of corporate overhead based upon its relative earnings contribution. Corporate overhead consists of interest expense, preferred stock dividend requirements, income on Enable preferred units and other items directly attributable to the parent along with the associated income taxes. Utility EPS guidance excludes (a) certain integration and transaction-related fees and expenses associated with the merger, (b) severance costs, (c) Midstream Investments and associated allocation of corporate overhead, (d) results related to Infrastructure Services and Energy Services, including anticipated costs and impairment resulting from the sale of those businesses, and (e) earnings or losses from the change in value of ZENS and related securities. In providing this guidance, CenterPoint Energy 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, which could have a material impact on GAAP reported results for the applicable guidance period.  CenterPoint Energy is unable to present a quantitative reconciliation of forward looking adjusted diluted earnings per share because changes in the value of ZENS and related securities are not estimable as they are highly variable and difficult to predict due to various factors outside of management's control.

The 2020 Midstream Investments EPS expected range assumes a 53.7 percent limited partner ownership interest in Enable and includes the amortization of the Company's basis differential in Enable and assumes an allocation of CenterPoint Energy corporate overhead based upon Midstream Investments relative earnings contribution. The Midstream Investments EPS expected range reflects dilution and earnings as if the CenterPoint Energy recently issued preferred stock were issued as common stock.  The Midstream Investments EPS expected range takes into account such factors as Enable's most recent public outlook for 2020 dated May 6, 2020, and effective tax rates. The company does not include other potential impacts such as any changes in accounting standards, impairments or Enable's unusual items.

Management evaluates the company's financial performance in part based on adjusted income and adjusted diluted earnings per share. Management believes 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 do 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 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, income available to common shareholders 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.

2020-05-07T05:00:00Z

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