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Atmos Energy CEO Discusses F1Q12 Results -Earnings Call Transcript

Also during the quarter, we resolved the FERC investigation that arose in 2007 in our non-regulated segment. Under the terms of that agreement, we paid about $12 million plus accrued interest. We cooperated with the FERC throughout the process, and had adequate reserves for the resolution.

Yesterday, our Board of Directors declared the 113th consecutive quarterly cash dividend. The indicated annual dividend rate for fiscal ’12 is $1.38. Our CFO, Fred Meisenheimer, will review our financial results in greater details now, and I’ll return for closing comments and we’ll open up the call for questions. Fred?

Fred Meisenheimer

Thanks, Kim, good morning, everyone. As a reminder, because of the agreement to sell our distribution assets in Missouri, Illinois and Iowa, we combine and report financial results for those assets on the income statement as discontinued operations. Therefore, the corresponding detail by line item will be excluded from my prepared discussions.

Rate relief remains the primary driver of our success in the regulated operations. Rate increases for distribution Atmos’ pipeline Texas combined, generated almost $13 million of incremental margin quarter-over-quarter with about $5 million for distribution, and $8 million for APT.

Specifically, distribution margins were negatively impacted by utilizing required updated weather data to calculate the weather normalization adjustment in the Mid-Tex division, which we expect to substantially flip around by the end of the heating season.

Regulated Transmission and Storage, we refer to as APT, benefited from the rate case that became effective last May. Also, during the current quarter, APT’s consolidated throughput rose 5% due to increase through system demand and the execution of new delivery contracts with local producers.

Turning now to our non-regulated operations, and you may want to turn to slide number 7. The on-going and on-favorable market cash conditions continue to pressure this segment. We anticipate natural gas storage levels will remain high for an extended period of time, and for unseasonably warm weather to continue during the second quarter of fiscal 2012.

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