HOUSTON, TX - CenterPoint Energy, Inc. (NYSE: CNP) said today it remains confident in its strong business fundamentals and its ability to implement its financing plans despite Standard & Poor's decision to reduce the company's corporate credit rating by one notch, to BBB from BBB+. The company continues to maintain investment-grade status.
"While we are very disappointed in their action today, S&P continues to recognize the quality of our business by maintaining an investment-grade rating on our debt," said David M. McClanahan, CenterPoint Energy's president and chief executive officer. "We have a long-term financing plan, and we are confident that we will be successful in addressing the near term issues that prompted today's action."
The company's financing plans are based upon its strong business fundamentals - its large-scale, regulated operations; predictable earnings and stable cash flow; and a clear path to fully recover its generation investments and reduce debt.
The company said that today's action by S&P will have no material impact on interest rates and fees associated with its bank credit facilities.
CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electricity transmission and distribution, natural gas distribution and sales, interstate pipeline and gathering operations, and more than 14,000 megawatts of power generation in Texas. The company serves nearly five million customers in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin. Assets total nearly $19 billion. CenterPoint Energy became the new holding company for the regulated operations of the former Reliant Energy, Inc. in August 2002.
With more than 11,000 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 130 years. For more information, visit our Web site at CenterPointEnergy.com.
This news release includes forward-looking statements. Actual events and results may differ materially from those projected. Factors that could affect actual results include the timing and impact of future regulatory and legislative decisions, effects of competition, weather variations, changes in CenterPoint Energy's business plans, financial market conditions and other factors discussed in CenterPoint Energy's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.