Favorable weather and lower interest rates helped natural gas distributor NiSource Inc. reverse year-ago quarterly losses. The Merrillville, IN-based company, which serves 3.7 million natural gas and electric customers from the Gulf Coast through the Midwest to New England, reported 3Q net income of $23.2 million (11 cents a share), compared with a net loss of $21 million (minus 10 cents) for the same period of 2001.
Articles from Engaged
There is no evidence that Nicor Inc. affiliate Nicor Gas engaged in criminal fraud in carrying out its performance-based rate (PBR) program for Illinois gas customers, but the local distribution company (LDC) did overcharge its customers by an estimated $15 million over the past couple of years, according to the results of an independent report commissioned by a special committee that was named by the company’s board of directors.
Second quarter physical gas sales volumes showed large cracks beginning to form in the foundation of the energy merchant business. The credit and liquidity crisis was growing rapidly during the quarter and the effects of the regulatory investigation into round-trip trading had taken hold. While there still were large volume increases compared to the previous year’s second quarter (a 38 Bcf/d increase for the top 20), an estimated 10.7 Bcf/d decline in volumes appeared compared to the first quarter of this year. All signs currently point to much greater declines as the year progresses.
Despite rampant rumors that there could be a competing bid for Conoco, which is engaged in a $35 billion merger of equals with Phillips, A.G. Edwards analyst Bruce Lanni isn’t buying it. The speculation has substantially increased the share price of Conoco relative to Phillips. Conoco has been trading at 5-11% premium to the merger price “suggesting that the ‘arbs’ believe there may be another bid in play.”
Despite rampant rumors that there could be a competing bid for Conoco, which is engaged in a $35 billion merger of equals with Phillips, A.G. Edwards analyst Bruce Lanni isn’t buying it. The speculation has substantially increased the share price of Conoco relative to Phillips. Currently, Conoco is trading at a 5.4% premium, “suggesting that the ‘arbs’ believe there may be another bid in play.”
UtiliCorp United and Andersen Consulting are engaged in a legalbattle over fees for work Andersen did for UtiliCorp that theclient says spiraled to more than twice the amount agreed upon.Most recently, UtiliCorp filed a $10 million suit in a Missouricourt charging Andersen with negligence and failure to live up toterms of a 1996 contract for administrative software and systems.The suit is a response to a complaint filed in March by Andersenseeking payment of fees UtiliCorp had withheld.