Merrillville-based NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) is reporting 2017 net income of $128.5 million, compared to $331.5 million a year earlier. For the fourth quarter, the utility company is reporting a net loss of $52.4 million, compared to a profit of $88.8 million during the same period in 2016. Chief Executive Officer Joe Hamrock calls it "a year of disciplined execution." Which included, he said in a news release about the annual and quarterly results, "all aspects of our business plan – from improved safety and customer satisfaction to record infrastructure investment and strong financial results. This continued execution supported safe, reliable service to customers and improved environmental performance of our systems, while delivering a total shareholder return of more than 19 percent in 2017, once again exceeding the performance of the major utility indices."
NiSource says 2017 included a record investment total in gas and electric utilities in 2017, $1.7 billion, which includes replacing nearly 380 miles of gas pipeline, 68 miles of underground electric cable and around 1,300 electric poles. It added close to 28,000 net new customers last year.
NiSource maintains its position that recent federal tax reform will reduce customer costs and help cover critical utility infrastructure investments. The utility says it plans to make capital investments of between $1.7 billion to $1.8 billion in 2018.
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