CenterPoint Energy, Inc.
May 5, 2010

CenterPoint Energy Reports First Quarter 2010 Earnings

HOUSTON, May 5, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ -- CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) today reported net income of $114 million, or $0.29 per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2010 compared to $67 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, for the same period of 2009. Net income for the first quarter of 2010 reflected an increase in federal income tax expense of $21 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, as a result of the recent federal health care legislation that eliminated the future tax deductibility of certain retiree health care costs. Operating income for the first quarter of 2010 was $357 million compared to $285 million for the same period of 2009.

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"I am pleased with the overall performance of our company during the first quarter of this year," said David M. McClanahan, president and chief executive officer of CenterPoint Energy. "Our electric and natural gas utilities reported strong results driven in part from a colder than normal winter, as well as control of operating expenses. Our interstate pipelines and field services businesses also performed well due primarily to increased revenues from investments in the mid-continent area. We continue to believe that our balanced portfolio of electric and natural gas businesses position us well as the economy recovers and the energy markets rebound."

OPERATING INCOME BY SEGMENT

Electric Transmission & Distribution

The electric transmission & distribution segment reported operating income of $107 million for the first quarter of 2010, consisting of $71 million from the regulated electric transmission & distribution utility operations (TDU) and $36 million related to transition and system restoration bonds. Operating income for the first quarter of 2009 was $70 million, consisting of $37 million from the TDU and $33 million related to transition bonds. Operating income for the TDU benefited from increased energy usage partially due to colder winter weather, the addition of nearly 22,000 metered customers since March 2009 and higher net transmission revenues. Operation and maintenance expenses in 2010 were essentially unchanged from the previous year.

Natural Gas Distribution

The natural gas distribution segment reported operating income of $139 million for the first quarter of 2010 compared to $118 million for the same period of 2009. Operating income benefited from higher system throughput primarily due to colder winter weather in this segment's southern service territories, higher non-volumetric revenues and lower bad debt expense.

Interstate Pipelines

The interstate pipelines segment reported operating income of $72 million for the first quarter of 2010 compared to $69 million for the same period of 2009. Operating income increased due to higher revenue from firm contracts primarily associated with the Carthage to Perryville pipeline, partially offset by lower revenue from off-system sales.

In addition to operating income, this segment recorded equity income of $3 million for the first quarter of 2010 primarily from its 50 percent interest in the Southeast Supply Header (SESH) compared to an equity loss of $2 million for the first quarter of 2009, which included a non-cash charge of $5 million to reflect SESH's discontinued use of regulatory accounting.

Field Services

The field services segment reported operating income of $23 million for the first quarter of 2010 compared to $26 million for the same period of 2009. Revenue growth from higher gathering volumes, as well as higher liquids prices in this segment's processing business, were more than offset by the impact of lower natural gas prices and higher operating expenses primarily related to facility expansions.

In addition to operating income, this segment recorded equity income of $2 million in each of the first quarters of 2010 and 2009 from its 50 percent interest in a gas processing plant.

Competitive Natural Gas Sales and Services

The competitive natural gas sales and services segment reported operating income of $15 million for the first quarter of 2010 compared to $2 million for the same period of 2009. Operating income for the first quarter of 2010 included gains of $3 million resulting from mark-to-market accounting for derivatives associated with certain forward natural gas purchases and sales used to lock in economic margins compared to charges of $19 million for the same period of 2009. The first quarter of 2009 included a $6 million write-down of natural gas inventory to the lower of average cost or market. Operating income for 2010 was also impacted by reduced locational and seasonal price differentials.

DIVIDEND DECLARATION

On April 22, 2010, CenterPoint Energy's board of directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.195 per share of common stock payable on June 10, 2010, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on May 14, 2010.

OUTLOOK REAFFIRMED FOR 2010

CenterPoint Energy reaffirmed its 2010 earnings guidance of $1.02 to $1.12 per diluted share. This guidance takes into consideration performance to date as well as various economic and operational assumptions related to the business segments in which the company operates. The company has made certain assumptions regarding the timing and cost of financing activities and the impact to earnings of various regulatory proceedings. In providing this guidance, the company has not included the impact of any changes in accounting standards, increased taxes resulting from recent health care legislation, any impact from acquisitions or divestitures, the timing effects of mark-to-market or inventory accounting in the company's competitive natural gas sales and services business, or the outcome of the TDU's true-up appeal. The company has also excluded any impact to income from the change in value of Time Warner stocks and the related ZENS securities. For the impact of these factors on first quarter 2010 earnings, see the attached reconciliation.

FILING OF FORM 10-Q FOR CENTERPOINT ENERGY, INC.

Today, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2010. A copy of that report is available on the company's Web site, www.CenterPointEnergy.com, under the Investors section. Other filings the company makes with the SEC and other documents relating to its corporate governance can also be found on that site.

WEBCAST OF EARNINGS CONFERENCE CALL

CenterPoint Energy's management will host an earnings conference call on Wednesday, May 5, 2010, at 10:30 a.m. Central time or 11:30 a.m. Eastern time. Interested parties may listen to a live audio broadcast of the conference call at www.CenterPointEnergy.com. A replay of the call can be accessed approximately two hours after the completion of the call and will be archived on the Web site for at least one year.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution, competitive natural gas sales and services, interstate pipelines, and field services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. Assets total over $19 billion. With about 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 135 years. For more information, visit the Web site at www.CenterPointEnergy.com.

This news release includes forward-looking statements. Actual events and results may differ materially from those projected. The statements in this news release regarding future financial performance and results of operations and other statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Factors that could affect actual results include the timing and outcome of appeals from the true-up proceedings, the timing and impact of future regulatory, legislative, and IRS decisions, effects of competition, weather variations, changes in CenterPoint Energy's or its subsidiaries' business plans, financial market conditions, the timing and extent of changes in natural gas and natural gas liquids prices, the impact of unplanned facility outages, and other factors discussed in CenterPoint Energy's and its subsidiaries' Forms 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009, CenterPoint Energy's Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 2010, and other filings with the SEC.



    For more information contact
    Media:
    Leticia Lowe
    Phone  713.207.7702
    Investors:
    Marianne Paulsen
    Phone  713.207.6500


                       CenterPoint Energy, Inc. and Subsidiaries

    Reconciliation of reported Net Income and diluted EPS to the basis
    used in providing annual earnings guidance


                                                   First Quarter Ended March
                                                            31, 2010
                                                   -------------------------
                                                Net Income            EPS
                                                ----------            ---
                                                    (in
                                                 millions)
    As reported                                        $114             $0.29
      Timing effects impacting CES(1):
        Mark-to-market (gains) losses - natural
         gas derivative contracts                        (2)            (0.01)
        Natural gas inventory write-downs                 -                 -
      ZENS-related mark-to-market (gains)
       losses:
        Marketable securities(2)                        (24)            (0.06)
        Indexed debt securities                          18              0.05
      Tax impact of federal health care
       legislation                                       21              0.05
                                                        ---              ----
    Per the basis used in providing annual
     earnings guidance                                 $127             $0.32
                                                       ====             =====



    (1)  Competitive natural gas sales and services
    (2)  Time Warner Inc., Time Warner Cable Inc. and AOL Inc.

                  CenterPoint Energy, Inc. and Subsidiaries
                      Statements of Consolidated Income
                            (Millions of Dollars)
                                 (Unaudited)


                                                              Quarter Ended
                                                                March 31,
                                                                ---------
                                                             2009       2010
                                                             ----       ----


    Revenues:
        Electric Transmission & Distribution                 $412       $482
        Natural Gas Distribution                            1,421      1,537
        Competitive Natural Gas Sales and Services            765        852
        Interstate Pipelines                                  153        138
        Field Services                                         57         68
        Other Operations                                        3          3
        Eliminations                                          (45)       (57)
           Total                                            2,766      3,023
                                                            -----      -----

    Expenses:
        Natural gas                                         1,789      1,935
        Operation and maintenance                             413        414
        Depreciation and amortization                         166        200
        Taxes other than income taxes                         113        117
           Total                                            2,481      2,666
                                                            -----      -----
    Operating Income                                          285        357
                                                              ---        ---

    Other Income (Expense) :
        Gain (loss) on marketable securities                  (34)        38
        Gain (loss) on indexed debt securities                 22        (27)
        Interest and other finance charges                   (129)      (122)
        Interest on transition and system restoration bonds   (33)       (36)
        Equity in earnings of unconsolidated affiliates         -          5
        Other - net                                             4          1
           Total                                             (170)      (141)
                                                             ----       ----

    Income Before Income Taxes                                115        216

    Income Tax Expense                                        (48)      (102)
                                                              ---       ----

    Net Income                                                $67       $114
                                                              ===       ====






         Reference is made to the Notes to the Consolidated Financial
                                  Statements
      contained in the Annual Report on Form 10-Q of CenterPoint Energy,
                                     Inc.

                  CenterPoint Energy, Inc. and Subsidiaries
            Selected Data From Statements of Consolidated Income
          (Millions of Dollars, Except Share and Per Share Amounts)
                                 (Unaudited)


                                                               Quarter Ended
                                                                 March 31,
                                                                 ---------
                                                              2009        2010
                                                              ----        ----


      Basic Earnings Per Common Share                        $0.19       $0.29
                                                             =====       =====

      Diluted Earnings Per Common Share                      $0.19       $0.29
                                                             =====       =====

      Dividends Declared per Common Share                   $0.190      $0.195

         Weighted Average Common Shares Outstanding (000):
        - Basic                                            347,496     392,855
        - Diluted                                          349,157     395,078


    Operating Income (Loss) by Segment
    ----------------------------------

      Electric Transmission & Distribution:
        Electric Transmission and Distribution Operations      $37         $71
        Transition and System Restoration Bond Companies        33          36
           Total Electric Transmission & Distribution           70         107
      Natural Gas Distribution                                 118         139
      Competitive Natural Gas Sales and Services                 2          15
      Interstate Pipelines                                      69          72
      Field Services                                            26          23
      Other Operations                                           -           1

      Total                                                   $285        $357
                                                              ====        ====





        Reference is made to the Notes to the Consolidated Financial
                                 Statements
     contained in the Annual Report on Form 10-Q of CenterPoint Energy,
                                    Inc.

                      CenterPoint Energy, Inc. and Subsidiaries
                          Results of Operations by Segment
                                (Millions of Dollars)
                                     (Unaudited)


                                              Electric Transmission &
                                                   Distribution
                                                -----------------------
                                           Quarter Ended
                                             March 31,                 % Diff
                                             ---------
                                                                      Fav/
                                         2009            2010       (Unfav)
                                         ----            ----      --------
    Results of Operations:
    Revenues:
        Electric transmission
         and distribution
         utility                         $346            $386             12%
        Transition and system
         restoration bond
         companies                         66              96             45%
                                          ---             ---
           Total                          412             482             17%
                                          ---             ---

    Expenses:
        Operation and
         maintenance                      188             190            (1%)
        Depreciation and
         amortization                      68              73            (7%)
        Taxes other than income
         taxes                             53              52              2%
        Transition and system
         restoration bond
         companies                         33              60           (82%)
                                                          ---
           Total                          342             375           (10%)
                                          ---             ---
    Operating Income                      $70            $107             53%
                                          ===            ====

    Operating Income:
        Electric transmission
         and distribution
         operations                       $37             $71             92%
        Transition and system
         restoration bond
         companies                         33              36              9%
                                                          ---
           Total Segment Operating
            Income                        $70            $107             53%
                                          ===            ====


    Electric Transmission &
     Distribution
    Operating Data:
    Actual MWH Delivered
        Residential                 3,966,519       5,172,997             30%
        Total                      15,142,308      16,436,310              9%

    Weather (average for
     service area):
    Percentage of 10-year
     average:
        Cooling degree days               120%             20%
        Heating degree days                89%            163%


    Number of metered
     customers -end of
     period:
        Residential                 1,838,766       1,858,403              1%
        Total                       2,082,930       2,104,786              1%






                                           Natural Gas Distribution
                                           ------------------------
                                         Quarter Ended
                                           March 31,                 % Diff
                                           ---------
                                                                    Fav/
                                       2009            2010       (Unfav)
                                       ----            ----      --------
    Results of Operations:
    Revenues                         $1,421          $1,537              8%
                                     ------          ------
    Expenses:
        Natural gas                   1,045           1,139            (9%)
        Operation and maintenance       169             167              1%
        Depreciation and
         amortization                    40              40              -
        Taxes other than income
         taxes                           49              52            (6%)
           Total                      1,303           1,398            (7%)
    Operating Income                   $118            $139             18%
                                       ====            ====

    Natural Gas Distribution
     Operating Data:
    Throughput data in BCF
        Residential                      78              96             23%
        Commercial and Industrial        77              87             13%
           Total Throughput             155             183             18%



    Weather (average for
     service area)
    Percentage of 10-year
     average:
        Heating degree days             102%            117%


    Number of customers -end
     of period:
        Residential               2,996,455       3,012,856              1%
        Commercial and Industrial   246,405         246,676              -
           Total                  3,242,860       3,259,532              1%
                                      =====           =====





     Reference is made to the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements
     contained in the Annual Report on Form 10-Q of CenterPoint Energy, Inc.

                      CenterPoint Energy, Inc. and Subsidiaries
                           Results of Operations by Segment
                                (Millions of Dollars)
                                     (Unaudited)


                                           Competitive Natural Gas Sales
                                                    and Services
                                           -----------------------------
                                          Quarter Ended
                                            March 31,               % Diff
                                            ---------
                                        2009         2010      Fav/(Unfav)
                                        ----         ----      -----------
    Results of Operations:
    Revenues                            $765         $852                11%
                                        ----         ----
    Expenses:
        Natural gas                      752          826              (10%)
        Operation and maintenance         10            9                10%
        Depreciation and amortization      1            1                 -
        Taxes other than income taxes      -            1                 -
           Total                         763          837              (10%)
    Operating Income                      $2          $15               650%
                                         ===          ===

    Competitive Natural Gas Sales
     and Services Operating Data:
    Throughput data in BCF               141          141                 -
                                         ===          ===

    Number of customers -end of
     period                           10,862       11,369                 5%
                                      ======       ======



                                            Interstate Pipelines
                                            --------------------
                                        Quarter Ended
                                          March 31,             % Diff
                                          ---------
                                        2009         2010      Fav/(Unfav)
                                        ----         ----      -----------
    Results of Operations:
    Revenues                            $153         $138              (10%)
                                        ----         ----
    Expenses:
        Natural gas                       29           10                66%
        Operation and maintenance         35           35                 -
        Depreciation and amortization     12           13               (8%)
        Taxes other than income taxes      8            8                 -
           Total                          84           66                21%
    Operating Income                     $69          $72                 4%
                                         ===          ===


    Pipelines Operating Data:
    Throughput data in BCF
        Transportation                   467          438               (6%)
                                         ===          ===





       Reference is made to the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements
       contained in the Annual Report on Form 10-Q of CenterPoint Energy, Inc.

                  CenterPoint Energy, Inc. and Subsidiaries
                       Results of Operations by Segment
                            (Millions of Dollars)
                                 (Unaudited)


                                               Field Services
                                               --------------
                                        Quarter Ended
                                          March 31,              % Diff
                                          ---------
                                                                Fav/
                                       2009        2010       (Unfav)
                                       ----        ----      --------
    Results of Operations:
    Revenues                            $57         $68             19%
                                        ---         ---
    Expenses:
        Natural gas                       7          16          (129%)
        Operation and maintenance        19          21           (11%)
        Depreciation and amortization     4           6           (50%)
        Taxes other than income taxes     1           2          (100%)
           Total                         31          45           (45%)
    Operating Income                    $26         $23           (12%)
                                        ===         ===


    Field Services Operating Data:
    Throughput data in BCF
        Gathering                       104         128             23%
                                        ===         ===


                                           Other Operations
                                           ----------------
                                      Quarter Ended
                                        March 31,            % Diff
                                        ---------
                                                                Fav/
                                       2009        2010       (Unfav)
                                       ----        ----      --------
    Results of Operations:
    Revenues                             $3          $3              -
    Expenses                              3           2             33%
    Operating Income                     $-          $1              -
                                        ===         ===





                  Capital Expenditures by Segment
                       (Millions of Dollars)
                            (Unaudited)


                                                      Quarter Ended
                                                        March 31,
                                                        ---------
                                                     2009        2010
                                                     ----        ----
    Capital Expenditures by Segment
        Electric Transmission & Distribution          $81         $95
        Hurricane Ike                                  16           -
                                                      ---         ---
         Total Electric Transmission &
          Distribution                                 97          95
        Natural Gas Distribution                       34          29
        Competitive Natural Gas Sales and
         Services                                       1           -
        Interstate Pipelines                           47           8
        Field Services                                 38         121
        Other Operations                                7           4
           Total                                     $224        $257
                                                     ====        ====





                          Interest Expense Detail
                           (Millions of Dollars)
                                (Unaudited)


                                                         Quarter Ended
                                                           March 31,
                                                           ---------
                                                        2009       2010
                                                        ----       ----
    Interest Expense Detail
        Amortization of Deferred Financing Cost           $9         $7
        Capitalization of Interest Cost                   (2)        (1)
        Transition and System Restoration Bond Interest
         Expense                                          33         36
        Other Interest Expense                           122        116
           Total Interest Expense                       $162       $158
                                                        ====       ====





       Reference is made to the Notes to the Consolidated Financial
                                Statements
    contained in the Annual Report on Form 10-Q of CenterPoint Energy,
                                   Inc.

                  CenterPoint Energy, Inc. and Subsidiaries
                    Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
                            (Millions of Dollars)
                                 (Unaudited)


                                                           December   March
                                                              31,      31,
                                                                2009    2010
                                                                ----    ----


                                                ASSETS
    Current Assets:
      Cash and cash equivalents                                 $740    $329
      Other current assets                                     2,164   2,055
          Total current assets                                 2,904   2,384
                                                               -----   -----

    Property, Plant and Equipment, net                        10,788  10,928
                                                              ------  ------

    Other Assets:
      Goodwill                                                 1,696   1,696
      Regulatory assets                                        3,677   3,619
      Other non-current assets                                   708     724
          Total other assets                                   6,081   6,039
            Total Assets                                     $19,773 $19,351
                                                             ======= =======

                             LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS'
                                         EQUITY

    Current Liabilities:
      Short-term borrowings                                      $55      $2
      Current portion of transition and
       system restoration bonds                                  241     274
         long-term debt
      Current portion of indexed debt                            121     122
      Current portion of other long-
       term debt                                                 541     776
      Other current liabilities                                2,080   2,028
          Total current liabilities                            3,038   3,202
                                                               -----   -----

    Other Liabilities:
      Accumulated deferred income taxes,
       net and investment tax credit                           2,792   2,814
      Regulatory liabilities                                     921     946
      Other non-current liabilities                            1,264   1,270
          Total other liabilities                              4,977   5,030
                                                               -----   -----

    Long-term Debt:
      Transition and system restoration
       bonds                                                   2,805   2,665
      Other                                                    6,314   5,745
          Total long-term debt                                 9,119   8,410
                                                               -----   -----

    Shareholders' Equity                                       2,639   2,709
          Total Liabilities and
           Shareholders' Equity                              $19,773 $19,351
                                                             ======= =======





        Reference is made to the Notes to the Consolidated Financial
                                 Statements
     contained in the Annual Report on Form 10-Q of CenterPoint Energy,
                                    Inc.

                     CenterPoint Energy, Inc. and Subsidiaries
                  Condensed Statements of Consolidated Cash Flows
                               (Millions of Dollars)
                                    (Unaudited)


                                                       Three Months Ended
                                                           March 31,
                                                       ------------------
                                                      2009            2010
                                                      ----            ----

    Cash Flows from Operating Activities:
      Net income                                       $67            $114
      Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash
       provided by operating activities:
        Depreciation and amortization                  176             207
        Deferred income taxes                           30             (34)
        Write-down of natural gas inventory              6               -
        Changes in net regulatory assets                21              19
        Changes in other assets and liabilities        132             127
        Other, net                                       1               2
    Net Cash Provided by Operating Activities          433             435

    Net Cash Used in Investing Activities             (261)           (303)

    Net Cash Used in Financing Activities             (274)           (543)
                                                      ----            ----

    Net Decrease in Cash and Cash Equivalents         (102)           (411)

    Cash and Cash Equivalents at Beginning of Period   167             740

    Cash and Cash Equivalents at End of Period         $65            $329
                                                       ===            ====





      Reference is made to the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements
      contained in the Annual Report on Form 10-Q of CenterPoint Energy, Inc.

SOURCE CenterPoint Energy, Inc.

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