CenterPoint Energy (CNP)
Company Profile: Houston-based CenterPoint Energy is a public utility holding company, which operates in electric transmission and distribution facilities, natural gas distribution facilities, interstate pipelines and natural gas gathering, processing and treating facilities.On Jan. 20, CenterPoint Energy announced a 1.3% increase to its dividend, to 19.75 cents per share from 19.5 cents. The higher payout will be available on March 10 to shareholders of record on Feb. 16, bringing CenterPoint's yield to around 4.9%. "I am pleased that for the sixth consecutive year, CenterPoint Energy is raising its dividend," said David M. McClanahan, president and chief executive officer. "This increase demonstrates a strong commitment to our shareholders and the confidence the board of directors has in our ability to deliver sustainable earnings and cash flow." Analysts from Oppenheimer recently initiated coverage of CenterPoint Energy with an outperform rating and $18 price target. The equity research firm noted that CenterPoint can deliver above-average growth. On Feb. 2 CenterPoint Energy said it initiated planned, controlled rolling outages of power to end-use customers in its greater Houston service territory on order from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which declared a statewide electrical emergency. CenterPoint Energy implemented up to 45-minute systematic outages to around 330,000 of its customers on a rotating basis. "This is a state-wide emergency and CenterPoint Energy is complying with direct orders from ERCOT," said Scott Prochazka, division senior vice president of CenterPoint Energy's electric transmission and delivery operations. "Although we realize this is an inconvenience for our customers, these controlled rolling outages are planned emergency measures designed to avoid potentially longer, and more widespread power outages. We will continue these rolling outages until we receive direction from ERCOT that the electric supply in Texas has stabilized."
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