Bulletin
Investor Alert

Aug. 6, 2020, 6:31 a.m. EDT

10-Q: CENTERPOINT ENERGY INC

new
Watchlist Relevance
LEARN MORE

Want to see how this story relates to your watchlist?

Just add items to create a watchlist now:

or Cancel Already have a watchlist? Log In

(EDGAR Online via COMTEX) -- Item 2. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS OF CENTERPOINT ENERGY, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES

The following combined discussion and analysis should be read in combination with the Interim Condensed Financial Statements contained in this Form 10-Q and the Registrants' combined 2019 Form 10-K. When discussing CenterPoint Energy's consolidated financial information, it includes the results of Houston Electric and CERC, which, along with CenterPoint Energy, are collectively referred to as the Registrants. Where appropriate, information relating to a specific Registrant has been segregated and labeled as such. In this Form 10-Q, the terms "our," "we" and "us" are used as abbreviated references to CenterPoint Energy, Inc. together with its consolidated subsidiaries. No Registrant makes any representations as to the information related solely to CenterPoint Energy or the subsidiaries of CenterPoint Energy other than itself.

RECENT EVENTS

COVID-19 Impacts. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the current COVID-19 outbreak to be a global pandemic, and on March 13, 2020, the United States declared a national emergency. In response to these declarations and the rapid spread of COVID-19, federal, state and local governments have imposed varying degrees of restrictions on business and social activities to contain COVID-19, including business shutdowns and closures, travel restrictions, quarantines, curfews, shelter in place and "stay-at-home" orders in our service territories. State and local authorities have also implemented multi-step policies with the goal of re-opening various sectors of the economy such as retail establishments, health and personal care businesses, and restaurants, among others. However, despite extensive planning and mitigation efforts by the states in our service territories, COVID-19 cases continued to increase, requiring governing authorities to continuously reassess re-opening plans for their jurisdictions. For example, the governor of the state of Texas issued orders in April 2020 to allow businesses to re-open at varying levels of capacity in May and June 2020. To address the June 2020 spike in COVID-19 cases, including in Houston, such reopening activities were temporarily paused or scaled back, and also included closing certain establishments. Similarly, the governor of the state of Indiana announced that the state would delay entering the final phase of its re-opening plan. We have experienced some resulting disruptions to our business operations, as these restrictions have significantly impacted many sectors of the economy with various businesses curtailing or ceasing normal operations. For example, since mid-March, we have had to restrict access to our administrative offices around the United States. However, we continue to be productive through alternate work arrangements, leveraging a strong technology platform to support our employees working remotely at home to perform their duties or directly from their vehicles to serve our customers. Where we must maintain a presence in the field, we have adjusted our operational protocols to minimize exposure and risk to our field personnel, customers and the communities we serve, including, among other things, modifying our work schedules and reporting locations, delaying certain work types, such as maintenance and capital projects, and adjusting project scope and scale to adhere to safety protocols, while continuing to maintain the work activities necessary for safe and reliable service to our customers with increased safety precautions.

Our first priority in our response to this crisis has been the health and safety of our employees, our customers and other business counterparties. Because we provide a critical service to our customers, it is paramount that we keep our employees who operate our business safe and informed, and we have taken and are updating precautions for that purpose. We have implemented preventative measures and developed corporate and regional response plans to minimize unnecessary risk of exposure and prevent infection, while supporting our customers' operations under the circumstances. When an employee tests positive for COVID-19, we investigate appropriately and take action to identify and notify potentially exposed individuals, coordinate testing and clean work locations, among other precautionary measures. If our employees feel sick or are awaiting COVID-19 test results, they do not report to their respective work locations in an effort to protect the health and safety of other employees. In addition, we have assessed and updated our existing business continuity plans for each of our business units in the context of this pandemic. We have a corporate response planning team who assesses risks to the business, including for health, safety and environmental matters and personnel issues, and addresses various impacts of the situation, as they have been developing. We also have modified certain business practices (including those related to employee travel, employee work locations and participation in meetings, events and conferences) to conform to government restrictions and best practices encouraged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and other governmental and regulatory authorities. We are continuing to address concerns to protect the health and safety of our employees and those of our customers and other business counterparties, and this includes changes to comply with health-related guidelines as they are modified and supplemented. We are continuing to work with our suppliers to understand the potential impacts to our supply chain, including identifying any negative impacts to material supplies, working to mitigate them and pre-planning for longer-term emergency response protocols. Since March 2020, we have not experienced significant disruptions or challenges with respect to our supply chain from the COVID-19 pandemic as a result of the aforementioned efforts with our core vendors and suppliers. This is a continuously evolving situation and could lead to further disruption of economic activity in our markets; we will continue to monitor developments affecting our workforce, our customers and our suppliers and take additional precautions as we believe are warranted.

An extended slowdown of economic growth, decreased demand for commodities and/or material changes in governmental or regulatory policy in the United States has resulted in, and could continue to result in, lower growth, including customer growth,

Table of Contents

and reduced demand for and usage of electricity and natural gas in our service territories as customer facilities continue to close or remain closed. While residential electric usage has increased as individuals continue to stay at home or work remotely, our business has experienced reduced demand and usage among our electric and natural gas commercial and industrial customers as well as a decrease in revenues from disconnections and reconnections due to the disconnect moratorium across our service territories due to COVID-19. Certain aspects of Houston Electric's rate design could mitigate the negative impact of reduced demand among commercial and industrial users. The ability of our customers, contractors and suppliers to meet their obligations to us, including payment obligations, has also been negatively impacted under the current economic conditions. For Houston Electric, we are following PUCT orders regarding disconnection practices related to those customers impacted by COVID-19. Although one of Houston Electric's REPs filed for bankruptcy in April 2020 due to COVID-19, Houston Electric has not experienced significant impacts with respect to its customers meeting their payment obligations since March 2020. In our NGD service territories and for Indiana Electric, we have informed customers that disconnections for non-payment have been temporarily suspended and in certain service territories continue to be temporarily suspended. Consequently, as a result of the disconnect moratorium across our NGD service territories and other payment deferrals or arrangements, days outstanding on receivables and uncollectible accounts have increased, resulting in an increase to allowance for doubtful accounts. To the extent these conditions in our service territories persist, our bad debt expense from uncollectible accounts could continue to increase, negatively impacting our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Our NGD service territories and Indiana Electric have either (1) received authority from their public utility commissions to defer bad debt expense associated with COVID-19 as a regulatory asset or (2) exercised existing authority to recover bad debt expense through an existing tracking mechanism. Additionally, while we have not experienced delays to date due to COVID-19 with respect to our regulatory proceedings, we could experience significant delays in scheduling proceedings or hearings and in obtaining orders from regulatory agencies. Any such delays could adversely affect our future results of operations.

Due to macroeconomic conditions and the decline in our Common Stock price, we identified a triggering event to perform an interim goodwill impairment test as of March 31, 2020 and recognized a non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $185 million in our Indiana Electric Integrated reporting unit for the three months ended March 31, 2020. For further discussion of this impairment, see Note 10 to the Interim Condensed Financial Statements. CenterPoint Energy and CERC did not identify triggering events in the three months ended June 30, 2020, and goodwill impairment tests were not required or performed as of June 30, 2020.

As of the date of this Form 10-Q, our efforts to respond to the challenges presented by the conditions described above and minimize the impacts to our business have been successful. Our electric facilities and natural gas distribution systems have remained operational and our customers have continued to receive service. Although we continue to assess the COVID-19 situation, we cannot estimate with any degree of certainty the full financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business. Nor can we predict the effect that the significant disruption and volatility currently being experienced in the markets will have on our business, cash flows, liquidity, financial condition and results of operations at this time. However, we expect the COVID-19 pandemic to adversely impact us in future quarters due to the considerable uncertainty regarding the extent to which COVID-19 will continue to spread and the extent and duration of governmental and other measures implemented to try to slow the spread of COVID-19, such as large-scale travel bans and restrictions, border closures, quarantines, shelter-in-place orders and business and government shutdowns. Restrictions of this nature have caused, and may continue to cause, us, our suppliers and other business counterparties to experience operational delays, closures or disruptions, among other things. The ultimate impacts to our business, financial condition, results of operations, liquidity and cash flows will depend on future developments and evolving factors, including, among others, the ultimate duration, scope and spread of COVID-19, the consequences of governmental and other measures designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the development of effective treatments, actions taken by governmental authorities, customers, suppliers and other third parties, workforce availability and the timing and extent to which normal economic and operating conditions resume. For additional discussion regarding risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, see "Risk Factors" in Item 1A of Part II of this Form 10-Q.

Enable Quarterly Distributions. The price of, and global demand for, natural gas, NGLs and crude oil have declined significantly in part as a result of the ongoing spread and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the significant governmental measures being implemented to control the spread of COVID-19. In addition, the recent dispute over crude oil production levels between Russia and members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries led by Saudi Arabia have exacerbated the sharp decline in the price of NGLs and crude oil. Despite the subsequent agreement in April 2020 by a coalition of nations including Russia and Saudi Arabia to reduce production of crude oil, the price of NGLs and crude oil have remained depressed relative to pre-pandemic levels. Further, financial market declines and volatility, together with deteriorating credit, liquidity concerns, decreasing production, and increasing inventories, are conditions that are associated with a general economic downturn. Producers have announced and begun to implement plans to reduce production and decrease the drilling and completion of wells in response to these conditions, which include reductions in the exploration, development and production activity across Enable's areas of operation. As a result, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the decline in demand and price for natural gas, NGLs and crude oil have and may continue to negatively impact the demand for midstream services. In response to the impacts of these developments on its business, on April 1, 2020, Enable announced a reduction in its quarterly distributions per common unit from $0.3305 distributed for the fourth quarter 2019 to $0.16525, representing a 50% reduction. To the extent

Table of Contents

such economic conditions persist or further deteriorate, quarterly distributions on Enable's common units may be subject to further reductions. For further information, see "-Liquidity and Capital Resources-Future Sources and Uses of Cash" below.

CenterPoint Energy Financial Measures. On April 1, 2020, in response to the current business environment and to strengthen its financial position and adjust for the reduction in cash flow related to the reduction in Enable quarterly common unit distributions, CenterPoint Energy announced targeted reductions in

Enable Investment Impairment. CenterPoint Energy recognized a loss of $1,432 million on its investment in Enable for the six months ended June 30, 2020. This loss included an impairment charge on its investment in Enable of $1,541 million during the three months ended March 31, 2020. For further discussion, see Note 9 to the Interim Condensed Financial Statements.

CenterPoint Energy Leadership Transition. On June 30, 2020, the Board of Directors appointed David J. Lesar to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer, effective July 1, 2020. On April 1, 2020, the Board of Directors appointed Kristie L. Colvin to the position of Interim Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in addition to her position as Chief Accounting Officer.

Board of Directors Appointments and Formation of Business Review and Evaluation Committee. On May 6, 2020, the Board of Directors appointed David J. Lesar and Barry T. Smitherman to the Board of Directors effective immediately, and, on June 30, 2020, the Board of Directors appointed Earl M. Cummings to the Board of Directors, effective July 1, 2020, to replace John W. Somerhalder II, who also resigned from his position as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, effective June 30, 2020. On May 6, 2020, the Board of Directors established a Business Review and Evaluation Committee, which will assist the Board of Directors in evaluating and optimizing the various businesses, assets and ownership interests currently held by CenterPoint Energy.

Business Divestitures. On February 3, 2020, CenterPoint Energy, through its subsidiary VUSI, entered into the Securities Purchase Agreement to sell the Infrastructure Services Disposal Group. The transaction closed on April 9, 2020. On February 24, 2020, CenterPoint Energy, through its subsidiary CERC Corp., entered into the Equity Purchase Agreement to sell the Energy Services Disposal Group. The transaction closed on June 1, 2020. For further information, see Note 3 to the Interim Condensed Financial Statements.

Regulatory Proceedings. On April 5, 2019, and subsequently adjusted in errata filings in May and June 2019, Houston Electric filed its base rate application with the PUCT and the cities in its service area to change its rates. A settlement was reached and a final order from the PUCT was received on March 9, 2020. New rates were implemented on April 23, 2020. For details related to our pending and completed regulatory proceedings and orders related to the TCJA to date in 2020, see "-Liquidity and Capital Resources -Regulatory Matters" below.

Equity Transactions. On May 6, 2020, CenterPoint Energy entered into agreements for the private placements of its Series C Preferred Stock and its Common Stock. For more information about the private placements, see Note 19 to the Interim Condensed Financial Statements.

Debt Transactions. In June 2020, Houston Electric issued $300 million aggregate principal amount of general mortgage bonds. For more information, see Note 12 to the Interim Condensed Financial Statements.

Table of Contents

Aug 06, 2020

COMTEX_368968088/2041/2020-08-06T06:30:30

Is there a problem with this press release? Contact the source provider Comtex at editorial@comtex.com. You can also contact MarketWatch Customer Service via our Customer Center.

(c) 1995-2020 Cybernet Data Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved

This Story has 0 Comments
Be the first to comment

Story Conversation

Commenting FAQs »
Link to MarketWatch's Slice.