CenterPoint Energy reports second quarter 2012 earnings

HOUSTON, Aug. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) today reported net income of $126 million, or $0.29 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2012 compared to $119 million, or $0.28 per diluted share, for the same period of 2011.

Operating income for the second quarter of 2012 was $302 million compared to $303 million for the same period of 2011.

“I am pleased with our company’s operating and financial performance for the quarter,” said David M. McClanahan, president and chief executive officer of CenterPoint Energy. “We recently closed on two transactions in our midstream business and continue to look at other growth opportunities that can enhance our balanced portfolio of electric and natural gas assets.”

For the six months ended June 30, 2012, net income was $273 million, or $0.64 per diluted share, compared to $267 million, or $0.62 per diluted share, for the same period of 2011. Operating income for the six months ended June 30, 2012, was $640 million compared to $667 million for the same period of 2011.

Electric Transmission & Distribution

The electric transmission & distribution segment reported operating income of $191 million for the second quarter of 2012, consisting of $153 million from the regulated electric transmission & distribution utility operations (TDU) and $38 million related to securitization bonds. Operating income for the second quarter of 2011 was $185 million, consisting of $153 million from the TDU and $32 million related to securitization bonds. Operating income for the TDU benefited from growth of over 43,000 metered customers since June 2011, higher miscellaneous revenue, and ongoing recognition of deferred equity returns associated primarily with the company’s recovery of true-up proceeds. These increases were partially offset by higher net transmission costs and impacts from new rates implemented in September 2011.

Operating income for the six months ended June 30, 2012, was $298 million, consisting of $223 million from the TDU and $75 million related to securitization bonds. Operating income for the same period of 2011 was $286 million, consisting of $221 million from the TDU and $65 million related to securitization bonds.

Natural Gas Distribution

The natural gas distribution segment reported operating income of $9 million for the second quarter of 2012 compared to $13 million for the same period of 2011. Operating income declined primarily due to weather that was milder than the same period of 2011.     

Operating income for the six months ended June 30, 2012, was $130 million compared to $155 million for the same period of 2011.

Interstate Pipelines

The interstate pipelines segment reported operating income of $52 million for the second quarter of 2012 compared to $60 million for the same period of 2011. The decline was primarily due to the expiration of a backhaul contract on the Carthage-to-Perryville pipeline.

In addition to operating income, this segment recorded equity income of $6 million for the second quarter of 2012 from its 50 percent interest in the Southeast Supply Header (SESH) compared to $5 million for the same period of 2011.

Operating income for the six months ended June 30, 2012, was $112 million compared to $136 million for the same period of 2011. In addition to operating income, this segment recorded equity income of $12 million for the six months ended June 30, 2012, from its 50 percent interest in SESH compared to $9 million for the same period of 2011.  

Field Services

The field services segment reported operating income of $51 million for the second quarter of 2012 compared to $39 million for the same period of 2011. Operating income benefited from higher gathering margins in the Haynesville and Fayetteville shales, partially offset by lower prices received from sales of retained gas.

In addition to operating income, this business had equity income of $2 million for the second quarter of 2012 from its 50 percent interest in a gathering and processing joint venture (Waskom) compared to $3 million for the same period of 2011. The decline is due to lower throughput volume attributable to supply disruptions as well as lower commodity prices.

Operating income for the six months ended June 30, 2012, was $98 million compared to $75 million for the same period of 2011. Equity income from Waskom was $5 million for each of the six months ended June 30, 2012, and 2011.

Competitive Natural Gas Sales and Services

The competitive natural gas sales and services segment reported an operating loss of $4 million for the second quarter of 2012 compared to operating income of $3 million for the same period of 2011.  Operating income for the second quarter of 2012 included charges of $4 million compared to gains of $4 million for the same period of 2011 related to mark-to-market accounting for derivatives associated with certain forward natural gas purchases and sales used to lock in economic margins. 

The operating loss for the six months ended June 30, 2012, was $3 million compared to operating income of $13 million for the same period of 2011. Operating income for the six months ended June 30, 2012, included charges of $5 million compared to gains of $2 million for the same period of 2011 resulting from mark-to-market accounting. The six months ended June 30, 2012, also included a $4 million write-down of natural gas inventory to the lower of average cost or market.

Dividend Declaration

On July 26, 2012, CenterPoint Energy’s board of directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.2025 per share of common stock payable on September 10, 2012, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on August 16, 2012. 

Revised Outlook for 2012

CenterPoint Energy expects diluted earnings per share for 2012 to be in the range of $1.13 to $1.23, up from previously provided guidance of $1.08 to $1.20 per diluted share. This guidance takes into consideration the expected impact of the two recently announced acquisitions by the field services business, performance to date and various economic and operational assumptions related to the business segments in which the company operates. Significant variables that may impact results include commodity prices, throughput volume, weather, regulatory proceedings, effective tax rates and financing activities. In providing this guidance, the company does not include the impact of any changes in accounting standards, significant future acquisitions or divestitures, the change in the value of Time Warner stocks and the related ZENS securities, or the timing effects of mark-to-market and inventory accounting in the company’s competitive natural gas sales and services business. In addition, this guidance excludes a non-recurring gain which will be recognized in the third quarter of 2012 relating to the July 2012 acquisition of the additional 50 percent interest in the Waskom Gas Processing Company.