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Nov. 5, 2021, 2:20 p.m. EDT

10-Q: EVERSOURCE ENERGY

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(EDGAR Online via COMTEX) -- Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

The following discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with our unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements and related combined notes included in this combined Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, the combined Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2021 and June 30, 2021, as well as the Eversource 2020 combined Annual Report on Form 10-K. References in this combined Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q to "Eversource," the "Company," "we," "us," and "our" refer to Eversource Energy and its consolidated subsidiaries. All per-share amounts are reported on a diluted basis. The unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements of Eversource, NSTAR Electric and PSNH and the unaudited condensed financial statements of CL&P are herein collectively referred to as the "financial statements."

Refer to the Glossary of Terms included in this combined Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for abbreviations and acronyms used throughout this Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

The only common equity securities that are publicly traded are common shares of Eversource. The earnings and EPS of each business discussed below do not represent a direct legal interest in the assets and liabilities of such business, but rather represent a direct interest in our assets and liabilities as a whole. EPS by business is a financial measure not recognized under GAAP (non-GAAP) that is calculated by dividing the Net Income Attributable to Common Shareholders of each business by the weighted average diluted Eversource common shares outstanding for the period. Our earnings discussion also includes non-GAAP financial measures referencing our 2021 earnings and EPS excluding charges at CL&P related to a settlement agreement that included credits to customers and funding of various customer assistance initiatives and a storm performance penalty imposed on CL&P by PURA and our 2021 and 2020 earnings and EPS excluding certain acquisition and transition costs.

We use these non-GAAP financial measures to evaluate and provide details of earnings results by business and to more fully compare and explain our 2021 and 2020 results without including these items. This information is among the primary indicators we use as a basis for evaluating performance and planning and forecasting of future periods. We believe the impacts of the CL&P settlement agreement, the storm performance penalty imposed on CL&P by PURA, and acquisition and transition costs are not indicative of our ongoing costs and performance. We view these charges as not directly related to the ongoing operations of the business and therefore not an indicator of baseline operating performance. Due to the nature and significance of the effect of these items on Net Income Attributable to Common Shareholders and EPS, we believe that the non-GAAP presentation is a more meaningful representation of our financial performance and provides additional and useful information to readers of this report in analyzing historical and future performance of our business. These non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered as alternatives to reported Net Income Attributable to Common Shareholders or EPS determined in accordance with GAAP as indicators of operating performance.

We make statements concerning our expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, goals, strategies, assumptions of future events, future financial performance or growth and other statements that are not historical facts. These statements are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can generally identify our forward-looking statements through the use of words or phrases such as "estimate," "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "project," "believe," "forecast," "should," "could," and other similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are based on the current expectations, estimates, assumptions or projections of management and are not guarantees of future performance. These expectations, estimates, assumptions or projections may vary materially from actual results. Accordingly, any such statements are qualified in their entirety by reference to, and are accompanied by, the following important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those contained in our forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to:

cyberattacks or breaches, including those resulting in the compromise of the confidentiality of our proprietary information and the personal information of our customers,

Other risk factors are detailed in our reports filed with the SEC and updated as necessary, and we encourage you to consult such disclosures.

All such factors are difficult to predict and contain uncertainties that may materially affect our actual results, many of which are beyond our control. You should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements, as each speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made, and, except as required by federal securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement or statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement is made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. New factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for us to predict all of such factors, nor can we assess the impact of each such factor on the business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. For more information, see Item 1A, Risk Factors, included in this combined Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and in Eversource's 2020 combined Annual Report on Form 10-K. This combined Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and Eversource's 2020 combined Annual Report on Form 10-K also describe material contingencies and critical accounting policies in the accompanying Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and Combined Notes to Financial Statements. We encourage you to review these items.

Financial Condition and Business Analysis

Executive Summary

Eversource Energy is a public utility holding company primarily engaged, through its wholly-owned regulated utility subsidiaries, in the energy delivery business. Eversource Energy's wholly-owned regulated utility subsidiaries consist of CL&P, NSTAR Electric and PSNH (electric utilities), Yankee Gas, NSTAR Gas and Eversource Gas Company of Massachusetts (EGMA) (natural gas utilities) and Aquarion (water utilities). Eversource is organized into the electric distribution, electric transmission, natural gas distribution and water distribution reportable segments.

The following items in this executive summary are explained in more detail in this combined Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q:

Earnings Overview and Future Outlook:

We earned $283.2 million, or $0.82 per share, in the third quarter of 2021, and $913.8 million, or $2.65 per share, in the first nine months of 2021, compared with $346.3 million, or $1.01 per share, in the third quarter of 2020, and $933.2 million, or $2.76 per share, in the first nine months of 2020.

Our third quarter and first nine months of 2021 results include after-tax costs resulting from a CL&P settlement agreement on October 1, 2021 recorded within the electric distribution segment. Our first nine months of 2021 results also include an after-tax charge at CL&P recorded within the electric distribution segment for a PURA assessment as a result of CL&P's preparation for and response to Tropical Storm Isaias in August 2020. Our third quarter and first nine months of 2021 and 2020 results also include after-tax transition and acquisition costs recorded at Eversource parent. In total, these after-tax costs were $67.5 million, or $0.20 per share, in the third quarter of 2021, and $103.1 million, or $0.30 per share, in the first nine months of 2021. Our 2020 results include after-tax transition and acquisition costs recorded at Eversource parent of $5.3 million, or $0.01 per share, in the third quarter of 2020, and $12.8 million, or $0.04 per share, in the first nine months of 2020. Excluding those costs, our non-GAAP earnings were $350.7 million, or $1.02 per share, in the third quarter of 2021, and $1.02 billion, or $2.95 per share, in the first nine months of 2021, compared with $351.6 million, or $1.02 per share, in the third quarter of 2020, and $946.0 million, or $2.80 per share, in the first nine months of 2020.

We reaffirmed our projection of our long-term EPS growth rate through 2025 from our regulated utility businesses in the upper half of the 5 to 7 percent range. We estimate to earn within the 2021 non-GAAP earnings guidance range of between $3.81 per share and $3.93 per share, which excludes the charges associated with the CL&P settlement agreement and the penalty for CL&P's Tropical Storm Isaias response assessed by PURA, as well as transition costs related to our October 2020 purchase of the assets of CMA and acquisition costs.

Liquidity:

Cash flows provided by operating activities totaled $1.52 billion in the first nine months of 2021, compared with $1.50 billion in the first nine months of 2020. Investments in property, plant and equipment totaled $2.21 billion in the first nine months of 2021, compared with $2.10 billion in the first nine months of 2020. Cash totaled $88.2 million as of September 30, 2021, compared with $106.6 million as of December 31, 2020. Our available borrowing capacity under our commercial paper programs totaled $1.86 billion as of September 30, 2021.

In the first nine months of 2021, we issued $3.15 billion of new long-term debt, consisting of $1.00 billion at Eversource parent, $425 million at CL&P, $600 million at NSTAR Electric, $350 million at PSNH, $125 million at Yankee Gas, $550 million at EGMA, and $100 million at Aquarion Water Company of Connecticut. In the first nine months of 2021, we repaid $1.14 billion of long-term debt, consisting of $450 million at Eversource parent, $120.5 million at CL&P, $250 million at NSTAR Electric, $282 million at PSNH, and $40 million at Aquarion Water Company of Connecticut.

On September 1, 2021, our Board of Trustees approved a common share dividend payment of $0.6025 per share, paid on September 30, 2021 to shareholders of record as of September 16, 2021.

Regulatory and Strategic Items:

On October 1, 2021, CL&P entered into a settlement agreement with the DEEP, Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC), Office of the Attorney General (AG) and the Connecticut Industrial Energy Consumers, resolving certain issues that arose in pending regulatory proceedings initiated by the PURA. PURA approved the settlement agreement on October 27, 2021. In the settlement agreement, CL&P agreed to provide a total of $65 million of customer credits to be distributed based on customer sales over a two-month period from December 1, 2021 to January 31, 2022. CL&P also agreed to irrevocably set aside $10 million to fund various customer assistance initiatives as directed by PURA. In the third quarter of 2021, CL&P recorded a liability of $75 million associated with the provisions of the settlement agreement, with a $65 million pre-tax charge as a reduction to Operating Revenues associated with the customer credits and a $10 million charge to Operations and Maintenance expense associated with the customer assistance initiatives on the three months ended September 30, 2021 income statement. In exchange for the $75 million of customer credits and assistance, PURA's interim rate reduction docket was resolved without findings. As a result of the settlement agreement, neither the 90 basis point reduction to CL&P's return on equity introduced in PURA's storm-related decision issued April 28, 2021, nor the 45 basis point reduction to CL&P's return on equity included in PURA's draft decision issued September 14, 2021 in the interim rate reduction docket, will be implemented. Additionally, CL&P agreed to withdraw its pending appeals related to the storm performance penalty imposed in PURA's April 28, 2021 and July 14, 2021 decisions. CL&P has also agreed to freeze its current base distribution rates until no earlier than January 1, 2024. The cumulative pre-tax impact of the October 1, 2021 settlement agreement and the Storm Isaias assessment imposed in PURA's April 28, 2021 and July 14, 2021 decisions totaled $103.6 million, and the after-tax earnings impact was $85.8 million, or $0.25 per share, for the nine months ended September 30, 2021.

In August of 2021, BOEM released its Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the South Fork Wind project, which assessed the environmental, social, and economic impacts of constructing the project. In August of 2021, Sunrise Wind received BOEM's Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an EIS for the review of the Construction Operations Plan (COP) application submitted by Sunrise Wind.







        Earnings Overview
        Consolidated:  Below is a summary of our earnings by business, which also
        reconciles the non-GAAP financial measures of consolidated non-GAAP earnings and
        EPS, as well as EPS by business, to the most directly comparable GAAP measures
        of consolidated Net Income Attributable to Common Shareholders and diluted EPS.
                                                               For the Three Months Ended September 30,                                        For the Nine Months Ended September 30,
                                                              2021                                    2020                                    2021                                     2020
        (Millions of Dollars, Except Per Share
        Amounts)                                   Amount              Per Share           Amount           Per Share              Amount               Per Share           Amount           Per Share
        Net Income Attributable to Common
        Shareholders (GAAP)                    $      283.2          $     0.82          $ 346.3          $     1.01          $        913.8          $     2.65          $ 933.2          $     2.76
        Regulated Companies (non-GAAP) (1)     $      348.5          $     1.01          $ 338.8          $     0.99          $      1,023.2          $     2.97          $ 941.3          $     2.79
        Eversource Parent and Other Companies           2.2                0.01             12.8                0.03                    (6.3)              (0.02)             4.7                0.01
        (non-GAAP) (1)
        Non-GAAP Earnings                      $      350.7          $     1.02          $ 351.6          $     1.02          $      1,016.9          $     2.95          $ 946.0          $     2.80
        CL&P Settlement Impacts (after-tax)           (63.2)              (0.19)               -                   -                   (85.8)              (0.25)               -                   -
        (2)
        Transition and Acquisition Costs               (4.3)              (0.01)            (5.3)              (0.01)                  (17.3)              (0.05)           (12.8)              (0.04)
        (after-tax) (3)
        Net Income Attributable to Common
        Shareholders (GAAP)                    $      283.2          $     0.82          $ 346.3          $     1.01          $        913.8          $     2.65          $ 933.2          $     2.76
        


(1) The 2020 amounts were revised to conform to the current period segment presentation.

(2) The 2021 after-tax costs are associated with the CL&P settlement agreement on October 1, 2021, which included a pre-tax $65 million charge to earnings for customer credits and a $10 million charge to earnings to fund various customer assistance initiatives recorded in the third quarter of 2021. The nine months ended 2021 after-tax costs also include charges recorded at CL&P as a result of the April 28, 2021 and July 14, 2021 PURA decisions, which included a $28.4 million civil penalty for non-compliance with storm performance standards currently being provided as credits to customer bills and a $0.2 million fine to the State of Connecticut's general fund. As a result of the October 1, 2021 settlement agreement, CL&P agreed to withdraw its pending appeals related to the storm performance penalty imposed in PURA's April 28, 2021 and July 14, 2021 decisions. Management views these collective charges as not directly related to the ongoing operations of the business and therefore not an indicator of baseline operating performance.

(3) The 2020 acquisition costs are associated with our purchase of the assets of CMA on October 9, 2020. The 2021 costs are for the transition of systems as a result of the CMA acquisition and costs associated with our pending water business acquisition.

Regulated Companies: Our regulated companies comprise the electric distribution, electric transmission, natural gas distribution and water distribution segments. A summary of our segment earnings and EPS is as follows:







                                                           For the Three Months Ended September 30,                                        For the Nine Months Ended September 30,
                                                          2021                                    2020                                    2021                                     2020
        (Millions of Dollars, Except Per
        Share Amounts)                         Amount              Per Share           Amount           Per Share              Amount               Per Share           Amount           Per Share
        Net Income - Regulated Companies   $      285.3          $     0.82          $ 338.8          $     0.99
        (GAAP)                                                                                                            $        937.4          $     2.72          $ 941.3          $     2.79
        Electric Distribution (non-GAAP)   $      213.6          $     0.62          $ 205.5          $     0.60          $        451.2          $     1.31          $ 450.6          $     1.33
        Electric Transmission                     139.4                0.40            125.6                0.36                   412.4                1.20            381.8                1.13
        Natural Gas Distribution (1)              (22.0)              (0.06)           (15.4)              (0.04)                  129.6                0.37             73.3                0.22
        Water Distribution                         17.5                0.05             23.1                0.07                    30.0                0.09             35.6                0.11
        Net Income - Regulated Companies
        (Non-GAAP)                         $      348.5          $     1.01          $ 338.8          $     0.99          $      1,023.2          $     2.97          $ 941.3          $     2.79
        CL&P Settlement Impacts                   (63.2)              (0.19)               -                   -                   (85.8)              (0.25)               -                   -
        (after-tax)
        Net Income - Regulated Companies
        (GAAP)                             $      285.3          $     0.82          $ 338.8          $     0.99          $        937.4          $     2.72          $ 941.3          $     2.79
        


(1) The 2020 amounts were revised to conform to the current period segment presentation.

Our electric distribution segment earnings decreased $55.1 million in the third quarter of 2021, as compared to the third quarter of 2020, due primarily to CL&P's settlement agreement on October 1, 2021, which included a pre-tax $65 million charge to earnings for customer credits and a $10 million charge to earnings to fund various customer assistance initiatives recorded in the third quarter of 2021. The after-tax impact of the CL&P settlement agreement was $63.2 million, or $0.19 per share. Excluding those charges, electric distribution segment earnings increased $8.1 million due primarily to base distribution rate increases at NSTAR Electric effective January 1, 2021 and at PSNH effective January 1, 2021 and August 1, 2021, and higher earnings from CL&P's capital tracker mechanism due to increased electric system improvements. The earnings increase was partially offset by higher operations and maintenance expense, higher depreciation expense, higher interest expense, and higher property tax expense.

Our electric distribution segment earnings decreased $85.2 million in the first nine months of 2021, as compared to the first nine months of 2020, due primarily to CL&P's settlement agreement on October 1, 2021 resulting in a total $75 million pre-tax charge to earnings and a $28.6 million pre-tax charge at CL&P for an assessment by PURA as a result of CL&P's preparation for and response to Tropical Storm Isaias in August 2020 recorded in the first quarter of 2021. The after-tax impact of the CL&P settlement agreement and CL&P storm performance assessment imposed by PURA was $85.8 million, or $0.25 per share. For further information, see "Regulatory Developments and Rate Matters - Connecticut" included in this Management's Discussion and Analysis. Excluding those charges, electric distribution segment earnings increased $0.6 million due primarily to base distribution rate increases at NSTAR Electric effective January 1, 2021, at PSNH effective January 1, 2021 and August 1, 2021, and at CL&P effective May 1, 2020, and higher earnings from CL&P's capital tracker mechanism due to increased electric system improvements. Those earnings increases were partially offset by higher operations and maintenance expense driven by higher employee-related expenses and higher storm restoration costs, higher depreciation expense, higher property tax expense, and higher interest expense.

Our electric transmission segment earnings increased $13.8 million and $30.6 million in the third quarter and the first nine months of 2021, respectively, as compared to the third quarter and the first nine months of 2020, due primarily to a higher transmission rate base as a result of our continued investment in our transmission infrastructure. The earnings increase for the nine-month period was partially offset by a lower benefit from the annual billing and cost reconciliation filing with FERC.

Our natural gas distribution segment had an increased loss of $6.6 million in the third quarter of 2021, as compared to the third quarter of 2020, due primarily to a loss from the addition of Eversource Gas Company of Massachusetts (EGMA) operations of $8.4 million due to the seasonality of the natural gas business. The increased loss was partially offset by the base distribution rate increase at Yankee Gas effective January 1, 2021 (with changes to customer rates beginning March 1, 2021).

Our natural gas distribution segment earnings increased $56.3 million in the first nine months of 2021, as compared to the first nine months of 2020, due primarily to the addition of EGMA earnings of $33.2 million. Additionally, the earnings increase was due to base distribution rate increases at NSTAR Gas effective November 1, 2020 and at Yankee Gas effective January 1, 2021 (with changes to customer rates beginning March 1, 2021), and higher earnings from capital tracker mechanisms due to continued investments in natural gas infrastructure. The earnings increase was partially offset by higher depreciation expense, higher operations and maintenance expense, and higher property tax expense.

Our water distribution segment earnings decreased $5.6 million in both the third quarter and the first nine months of 2021, as compared to the third quarter and the first nine months of 2020. The earnings decrease in both periods was due primarily to the absence in 2021 of a third quarter 2020 after-tax gain of $3.5 million and lower revenues as a result of the sale of the water system and treatment plant in Hingham, Massachusetts.

Eversource Parent and Other Companies: Eversource parent and other companies had increased losses of $9.6 million and $15.5 million in the third quarter and the first nine months of 2021, respectively, as compared to the third quarter and the first nine months of 2020, due primarily to a higher effective tax rate. The increased loss for the nine-month period was also due to an increase in the transition and integration costs of EGMA of $4.5 million.

Impact of COVID-19

COVID-19 has adversely affected customers, workers and the U.S. economy. We provide a critical service to our customers and have taken extensive measures to maintain its safety and reliability. We continue to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and how the related developments affect Eversource. We are in the re-entry phase of our pandemic response plan, in which the majority of our employees under remote work arrangements have transitioned back to the workplace. We have not experienced significant impacts directly related to the pandemic that have materially affected our current operations, our workforce, or results of operations. The extent of the impact to us in the future will vary, and depend on the duration, scope and severity of the pandemic and the resulting impact on economic, health care and capital market conditions. The future impact will also depend on the outcome of future proceedings before our state regulatory commissions to recover our incremental costs associated with COVID-19, which include uncollectible customer receivable expenses.

The current and expected future financial impacts of COVID-19 as it relates to our businesses primarily relate to collectability of customer receivables and customer payment plans and increased expenses for cleaning and supplies for personal protective equipment.

As of September 30, 2021, our allowance for uncollectible customer receivable balance of $441.7 million, of which $229.9 million relates to hardship accounts that are specifically recovered in rates charged to customers, adequately reflected the collection risk and net realizable value for our receivables. We continue to evaluate the adequacy of the uncollectible allowance based on an ongoing assessment of accounts receivable collections and customer payment trends, economic conditions, delinquency statistics, aging-based quantitative assessments, the impact on residential customer bills because of energy usage and change in rates, flexible payment plans and financial hardship arrearage . . .

Nov 05, 2021

COMTEX_396395909/2041/2021-11-05T14:19:56

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