) posted net operating earnings of 23 cents per share in the
second quarter of 2013, a penny or 4.2% lower than the Zacks
Consensus Estimate. Earnings were however 4.5% higher than the
NiSource recorded GAAP earnings of 23 cents per share compared
with 25 cents per share in the prior year.
Gross revenue during the quarter increased 16.9% year over
year to $1.2 billion from $1.03 billion. The improvement was
mainly due to higher contribution from Gas Transportation and
Storage, Electric Operations and Gas Distribution segments.
Total revenue also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by
Highlights of the Release
Total operating expenses increased 10.3% year over year to
$666.4 million. The increase was mainly due to a 15.9% spike in
operating and maintenance expenses.
In the wake of higher operating expenses, operating income
inched down 1.9% to $194.7 million.
The effective tax rate was 31.3% versus 34.4% for the same
period last year.
As of Jun 30, 2013, NiSource had cash and cash equivalents of
$44.5 million, up from $36.3 million as of Dec 31, 2012.
Long-term debts (excluding debts due within a year) as of Jun
30, 2013 were $7.6 billion versus $6.8 billion as of Dec 31,
2012. In the first half of the year, the company issued $750
million in long-term debt at favorable interest rates and
increased its existing three-year bank term loan by $75 million
to $325 million.
Cash flow from operating activities in the first half of 2013
increased 15.9% to $894.5 million from $771.8 million in the
comparable prior-year period. The company distributed dividends
worth $149.5 million in the first half of 2013 versus $130.4
million in the prior-year period.
NiSource reiterated its 2013 operating earnings per share
guidance in the range of $1.50 to $1.60. The company did not
provide GAAP figures but indicated that 2013 GAAP numbers would
differ from operating earnings due to unpredictable weather and
other factors affecting comparability.
Other Company Releases
CMS Energy Corp.
) reported earnings of 29 cents per share in the second quarter
of 2013, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 34 cents by
Empire District Electric Co.
) announced second-quarter 2013 operating earnings of 27 cents
per share, 8.0% above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 25
) announced second-quarter 2013 operating earnings of 35 cents
per share, 16.7% above the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 30
We appreciate NiSource's decision to enhance its capital
expenditure for 2013 by $200 million to $2 billion. Nearly 75% of
the company's capital investments were focused on accretive
growth and other revenue-generating investments. This will
definitely benefit the top-line and expand margins.
In the first half of 2013, NiSource was able to register a
0.6% increase in its gas customers and a 0.2% increase in
electricity customers. The growth in the customer base was also
accompanied by an increase in sales volume. The development plans
undertaken by NiSource will allow it to increase reliability of
its services and add more customers.
Merrillville, Ind. based NiSource is an energy holding company
founded in 1912. Along with its subsidiaries, the company
provides natural gas, electricity and other products and services
in the U.S. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
CMS ENERGY (CMS): Free Stock Analysis Report
EMPIRE DISTRICT (EDE): Free Stock Analysis
NISOURCE INC (NI): Free Stock Analysis Report
NORTHWESTERN CP (NWE): Free Stock Analysis
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