is staying thecourse with its stake in EnableMidstream Partners, even while other co-owners are reviewing theirpositions.
OGEowns a 26.30% share of Enable, with CenterPointEnergy Inc. owning a 55.4% share. In February, CenterPointannounced a strategic reviewof its Enable investment, which it formed in 2013 with OGE and .
Forthe first quarter of 2016, Enable contributed $35 million to OGE, compared to$34 million in first-quarter 2015. Enable contributed earnings of $18 million,or 9 cents per share in the first quarter of 2016, compared to $23 million, or11 cents per share in 2015. Enable on May 4 reported net income of $86 millionin the first quarter of 2016, down from $91 million in the first quarter of2015. Meanwhile Enable's share price, which was trading below $6 per share inFebruary, has been gradually recovering ever since, closing out the May 4session at $11.42.
"While we are disappointed with Enable's currenttrading price, although improving, we're still not satisfied. Remember ourinvestment provides OGE with strong cash flow that helps support our dividend,capital needs, balance sheet and credit profile. It is doing exactly what wedesigned it to do when we established Enable a few years ago," OGEChairman, President and CEO Sean Trauschke said on the company's first-quarterearnings call. "And it is strong enough to manage through this cycle."
Addressing CenterPoint's reconsideration of its share,Trauschke strongly affirmed OGE is unaffected and intends to maintain its stakein the partnership in anticipation of improving commodity prices.
"We are committed to our investment and are focused onhelping to position the partnership for growth as the MLP sector emerges fromthe current commodity cycle," he said. "We believe the valueassociated with our investment in Enable including our 60% share in the[Incentive Distribution Rights] will be realized in the market as commodityprices continue to improve."
Trauschke'scomments followed a first quarterwhere OGE reported net income attributable to the company of $25.2million, or 13 cents per share, down from $43.2 million, or 22 cents per share,in the first quarter of 2015. The consensus normalized EPS estimate for OGE inthe first quarter was 13 cents, according to S&P Capital IQ.
Onthe regulatory front, Trauschke touted the approval by Oklahoma regulatorsin April authorizingOklahoma Gas and Electric Co.to install dry scrubbers on two coal-fired units at its plant. , OG&E filed ageneral rate case seeking a $92.5 million increase, hearings for which beganthe week of May 2. That rate case is drawingopposition from renewable energy groups as a result of a proposedfixed demand charge it includes. In Arkansas, OG&E intends to file a generalrate case in August which Trauschke said would take advantage of legislationrecently passed there allowingformula rate plans.
Lookingahead, OG&E intends to time its next general rate case in late 2017 relatedto new combustion turbines at its MustangCT plant. Toward the end of 2018, OGE executives expect to file afollow-on general rate case in Oklahoma in connection with the Sooner scrubbersentering service.