The bottom line for San Francisco-based Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) in 3Q2019 bled red, with $1.6 billion in losses, with up to $2.2 billion in one-time charges.
No quarterly conference call was held for the bankruptcy-bound operator, which said net losses totaled $1.6 billion (minus $3.06/share), versus year-ago profits of $564 million ($1.09).
There was an additional $2.5 billion pre-tax charge for estimated third-party claims related to 2017 and 2018 Northern California wildfires, including last year’s Camp Fire that wiped out the town of Paradise. Also factored into the charges are regulatory disallowances on the gas transmission system and various fire-related, cleanup, repair, legal and bankruptcy court costs.
Still, management said it was "making good progress" in working quickly through the Chapter 11 process and continuing to support California's "clean energy future."
"We remain dedicated to the safe operation of our gas and electric systems, and in particular to reducing the risk of wildfires in our communities," said PG&E Corp. CEO Bill Johnson.
He reiterated that the recent preventive blackouts that knocked out power in Northern California were necessary and "only for public safety."
Johnson said several positive steps were taken during the quarter that included naming industry veteran Andrew Vesey as CEO of the PG&E utility.
In addition, state regulators and the bankruptcy court approved PG&E's participation in the statewide wildfire fund. There also was an $11 billion settlement to resolve all insurance subrogation claims arising from the 2017-18 fires.
PG&E during 3Q2019 also filed a reorganization plan to meet the requirements of the state’s wildfire claims law, Assembly Bill 1054.