CenterPoint Energy turns $90 million profit amid $6 billion Vectren merger

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,506 views 

CenterPoint Energy Inc., which closed its $6 billion deal to acquire Indiana-based Vectren Corp. earlier this year, posted fourth quarter profits of 18 cents per share on Thursday (Feb. 28) as the company seeks to combine its electric and natural gas delivery operation across eight states.

For the period ended Dec. 31, CenterPoint reported fourth quarter net income of $90 million, or 18 cents per share, down 93.1% from profits of $1.3 billion, or $2.99 per share, in last year’s fourth quarter. The Houston-based natural gas distributor’s quarterly revenue climbed to $3.04 billion, up 15.2% from $2.64 billion a year ago.

For the year, CenterPoint’s net income of $333 million, or 74 cents per share, compared to nearly $1.8 billion, or $4.13 per share, in 2017. Revenues in 2018 were $10.6 billion, up 10.4% from $9.6 billion for the 12-month period of 2017.

Both the fourth quarter and yearly results were impacted by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act approved by Congress in December 2017. Full-year 2017 earnings, on a guidance basis, were $1.37 per diluted share, excluding a one-time tax benefit of $1.11 billion related to the federal income tax rate reduction.

Excluding one-time items related to the Vectren merger, the company’s fourth quarter 2018 adjusted earnings 36 cents per share. A survey of Wall Street analysts had forecasted the natural gas utility to report fourth quarter earnings of 34 cents per share on revenue of $2.25 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

“I am very pleased with our 2018 results as they represent another solid year of meeting the financial goals we set,” said CenterPoint President and CEO Scott Prochazka. “Our recently completed merger expands our utility businesses to eight states, provides opportunities to leverage and expand our competitive energy businesses across a larger U.S. footprint, and gives us greater confidence in putting forward long-term financial targets.”

After the Vectren merger, CenterPoint now has electric transmission and distribution, power generation and natural gas distribution businesses that serves more than 7 million metered customers in Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas.

The company’s most recent filing with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission filings show the Houston-based electric and natural gas utility has 378,829 residential and 47,965 industrial customers in Arkansas.