Black Hills Corp. Provides Business Update Related to COVID-19 Pandemic Actions
Source: Nasdaq GlobeNewswire / 23 Mar 2020 07:00:10 America/New_York
RAPID CITY, S.D., March 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Black Hills Corp. (NYSE: BKH) today announced an update regarding the actions it is taking in response to COVID-19 and the related impacts on the company’s business. The company is executing its business continuity plan and remains focused on prioritizing the health and safety of its customers, employees, business partners and communities.
Black Hills continues to monitor its operations and believes the fundamentals of its utility-focused business remain sound. Operations and delivery of energy to its 1.3 million customers have not been materially impacted. To date, Black Hills has not experienced significant reductions in sales volumes across its business and is closely monitoring potential impacts due to the states’ and the nation’s COVID-19 pandemic responses.
The company continues to maintain adequate liquidity to operate its businesses and fund its capital program. The company is shifting its short-term funding from its commercial paper program to its $750 million revolving credit facility, which expires July 30, 2023. The credit facility has two one-year renewal options and contains an accordion feature that allows Black Hills to increase total commitments up to $1 billion under certain conditions.
Black Hills is well positioned to execute its financing strategy and recently completed a $100 million equity issuance as part of its plan for 2020. The company previously announced plans to issue at least $300 million of long-term debt this year to term out short-term debt. The company does not have any material long-term debt maturities until late 2023.
The company is monitoring supply chains and large capital projects. Supply chains are so far operating normally with limited impact to availability of supplies and materials. Recent conversations with suppliers and contractors indicate no significant changes to schedules for delivery of parts and components and contractors.
The company’s pension plan was approximately 85% funded at year-end 2019 and has remained near this funded status throughout the ongoing market volatility resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Black Hills has substantially de-risked its pension plan assets with nearly 70% of the portfolio invested in long-dated bonds. As a result, we do not anticipate additional funding requirements beyond planned contributions for the year.
Recognizing the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Hills is continually monitoring its business and will adjust as necessary to safely and effectively serve customers and communities and keep employees safe and well.
Black Hills Corporation
Black Hills Corp. (NYSE: BKH) is a customer-focused, growth-oriented utility company with a tradition of improving life with energy and a vision to be the energy partner of choice. Based in Rapid City, South Dakota, the company serves 1.28 million natural gas and electric utility customers in eight states: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.
Jerome E. Nichols
24-Hour Media Relations Line
Caution Regarding Forward Looking Statement
This news release includes “forward-looking statements” as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. We make these forward-looking statements in reliance on the safe harbor protections provided under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this news release that address activities, events or developments that we expect, believe or anticipate will or may occur in the future are forward looking statements. This includes our expectations about the timing and completion of our bond issuance, continuity of supply chain, and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our business. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions which we believe are reasonable based on current expectations and projections about future events and industry conditions and trends affecting our business. However, whether actual results and developments will conform to our expectations and predictions is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that, among other things, could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, the risk factors described in Item 1A of Part I of our 2019 Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC, and other reports that we file with the SEC from time to time.
New factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in forward looking statements emerge from time-to-time, and it is not possible for us to predict all such factors, or the extent to which any such factor or combination of factors may cause actual results to differ from those contained in any forward-looking statement. We assume no obligation to update publicly any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.