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Atmos Energy CEO Discusses F1Q12 Results -Earnings Call Transcript

As we review these financial results and discuss future expectations; please keep in mind that some of our discussion might contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Act and the Securities Exchange Act. Any forward-looking statements are intended to fall within the Safe Harbor rules of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

And now, I would like to turn the call over to Kim Cocklin. Kim.

Kim Cocklin

Thank you, Susan. Good morning, everybody, and we certainly appreciate you joining us, and your interest in Atmos Energy. Before we begin, I’d like to extend my congratulations to all the Giants fans on the phone, and condolences to the Patriots and the Cowboy fans.

Yesterday, we did report first quarter consolidated net income of $69 million or $0.75 per diluted share compared to $74 million or $0.81 per share one year ago. When you exclude the unrealized gains in both periods, net income was $56 million or $0.61 per share this quarter compared to 74 million or $0.81 last year.

Regulated operations contributed 93% of our net income and non-regulated operations contributed the remaining 7%.

Regulated earnings were in line with our first quarter expectations of fiscal ’12. Abundant natural gas supply across the nation has created a low gas price environment, which is extremely good for utility customers. However, our non-regulated operations are adversely impacted by such a low price and low volatility and did not contribute as expected.

Our liquidity and financial position remain very strong. Our debt capitalization ratio is 53.4% at December 31, compared with 51.4% one year ago. Short-term debt this quarter increased to $390 million compared to $248 million in last year’s quarter, primarily to fund natural gas purchases in our non-regulated segment and increase capital spending.

During the quarter we purchased about 388,000 shares under our current share repurchase program at an average price of $32.31 per share.

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