So turning to Slide 5, our second quarter 2011 consolidated diluted earnings per share adjusted were lower than for the same periods a year ago. Due to the seasonal nature of our energy businesses the second quarter is traditionally the weakest quarter during our financial reporting year, because of the temperate whether typical for the second quarter and lower natural gas and electric sales less favorable and offsetting factors that affect our business tend to have a greater impact in the second quarter then they would in any other quarter. So I will summarize the drivers that caused our earnings to decline this year versus last year.
On the plus side all of our natural gas service territories experienced colder weather this quarter and usage per customer excluding the impact of whether was up, the decoupling mechanism we have in place don’t cover all jurisdictions are customer classes so some of this increased usage was reflected in our quarterly results. In addition, there was an overall increase in margins in the retail markets that Integrys Energy services continues to focus on.
Offsetting these pluses were consolidated operating and maintenance expense increases, this – in public services maintenance expense was higher due to the timing of schedule plant outages, the cost for our outages are included in our revenue requirements but these costs are collected evenly over 12 months, while the actual expenses occur with the scheduled outages.
Natural gas distribution expenses were up Peoples Gas because certain cost related to the accelerated main replacement program are not included in the writer. And finally there was decrease in wholesale margins for Integrys Energy services due to the sale of the whole sale business in prior periods.The key takeaway from today’s call is that we have narrowed our guidance for 2011 diluted earnings per share adjusted to a range of $3.30 and $3.50 and we are seeing some shifts among our reporting segments, we reduced our core earnings expectation for Integrys Energy services, although we still expect its core 2011 earnings to be more than twice what it contributed to consolidated earnings in 2010. And we have increased the earnings expectation for our natural gas utility segment. Joe will summarize the details of this in his formal remarks. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com