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Columbia Pipeline Group touts 'strong' performance with rise in earnings

on May 3 reportedfirst-quarter 2016 net operating earnings from continuing operations attributedto controlling interests of $91.3 million, or 23 cents per share, compared to $90.0million, or 28 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

The S&PCapital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for the first quarter was 19 cents.

First-quarteradjusted EBITDA amounted to $223.8 million, compared to $198.1 million in the sameperiod last year, while distributable cash flow for the first quarter totaled $161.4million, compared to $150.4 million in the prior-year period.

"This quarter'sperformance was strong by any measure," said Robert Skaggs Jr., chairman andCEO of Columbia Pipeline Group. "The CPG team continues to maintain its singularfocus on the execution of our business plan and on meeting all of our stakeholdercommitments."

In a separateearnings release, Columbia PipelinePartners LP reported net income attributable to limited partners of$27.3 million, or 25 cents per unit, compared to $13.3 million, or 13 cents perunit, in the year-ago quarter.

The S&PCapital IQ consensus normalized EPS estimate for the first quarter was 25 cents.

Adjusted EBITDAattributable to the partnership for the first quarter was posted at $34.3 million,compared to $18.2 million in the same period last year. First-quarter DCF amountedto $30.0 million, compared to $15.9 million in the prior-year period.The partnership's distributioncoverage ratio is 1.59x, compared with 1.73x in the prior-year period, accordingto the release.

The partnershipreported growth and modernization capital expenses of $362.9 million for the quarter,which was mostly attributed to the ColumbiaGas Transmission LLC modernizationprogram and the LeachXPress, Rayne XPress and CameronAccess projects.

Columbia PipelineGroup is the target of a proposedmerger with TransCanadaCorp. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2016.