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NiSource Q3 net loss $345.1 million, under investigation over gas incident

NiSource
NiSource   Operating earnings were $35.3 million

NiSource announced, on a GAAP basis, a net loss available to common shareholders for the three months ended September 30, 2018, of $345.1 million, or $0.95 per share, compared to net income available to common shareholders of $14.0 million, or $0.04 per share, for the same period of 2017.




For the nine months ended September 30, 2018, NiSource's net loss available to common shareholders was $45.8 million, or $0.13 per share, compared to net income available to common shareholders of $180.9 million, or $0.55 per share, for the same period of 2017.

NiSource also reported net operating earnings available to common shareholders (non-GAAP) of $35.3 million, or $0.10 per share, for the three months ended September 30, 2018, compared to $23.3 million, or $0.07 per share, for the same period of 2017.

For the nine months ended September 30, 2018, NiSource's net operating earnings available to common shareholders (non-GAAP) were $321.4 million, or $0.91 per share, compared to $287.2 million, or $0.88 per share, for the same period of 2017.

NiSource's third quarter GAAP results include $461.9 million in expenses related to third party claims and other expenses associated with the September 13, 2018, incident on its gas distribution system in the Greater Lawrence, Mass., area.

These expenses are expected to be substantially recovered through insurance; however, no recovery amounts have been recorded as of September 30, 2018.

NiSource remains on track to invest $1.7 to $1.8 billion in its utility infrastructure capital programs and deliver non-GAAP net operating earnings of $1.26 to $1.32 per share in 2018.

The capital investment includes approximately $135 to $165 million related to the Massachusetts restoration project and many safety-enhancing investments across all our gas distribution businesses.

The company expects to make capital investments of $1.6 to $1.8 billion and grow its net operating earnings per share (non-GAAP) and dividend by 5 to 7 percent each year through 2020.

NiSource also remains committed to maintaining investment-grade credit ratings. The company has investment-grade ratings with Fitch Ratings (BBB), Moody's (Baa2) and Standard & Poor's (BBB+). As of September 30, 2018, NiSource had approximately $1.1 billion in net available liquidity, consisting of cash and available capacity under its credit facility and accounts receivable securitizations.

NiSource reminds investors that it does not provide a GAAP equivalent of its earnings guidance due to the impact of unpredictable factors such as fluctuations in weather, asset sales and impairments, and other items included in GAAP results.

In a federal filing on Thursday NiSource disclosed that the U.S. Attorney's Office served grand jury subpoenas on Sept. 24, and said the company is cooperating with the investigation.

The over-pressurized gas incident in Greater Lawrence on Sept. 13 caused one death, multiple injuries and sparked more than 60 fires and several explosions.

The gas company initially said the thousands of impacted customers across Lawrence, Andover and North Andover would have gas returned by Nov. 19, but last week they pushed that date back to Dec. 16.

 
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