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CenterPoint Energy's CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Before David begins, I would like to mention that a replay of this call will be available until 6:00 p.m. Central Time through Wednesday, March 7, 2012. To access the replay, please call 1 (855) 859-2056 or (404) 537-3406 and enter the conference ID number 01632104. You can also listen to an online replay of the call through the website that I just mentioned. We will archive the call on CenterPoint Energy's website for at least 1 year.

And with that, I will now turn the call over to David.

David M. McClanahan

Thank you, Marianne. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for joining us today and thank you for your interest in CenterPoint Energy. 2011 was a very good year for the company, 4 of our 5 business units had strong years both operationally and financially. We resolved the long standing issues associated with our 2004 true-up proceeding. And last month, we covered almost $1.7 billion of additional true-up cost through the issuance of securitization bonds. We're pleased this matter is finally behind us and we can now focus our full attention on the future.

This morning, we reported full year earnings of $1.36 billion or $3.17 per diluted share. Excluding the impacts of the true-up proceeding, net income would have been $546 million or $1.27 per diluted share, compared to $442 million or $1.7 per diluted share in 2010. So this was an outstanding year either way you look at it.

Our fourth quarter results were also solid. Net income was $117 million or $0.27 per diluted share compared to $124 million or $0.29 per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2010. Fourth quarter earnings for 2011, on the same basis as we provide earnings guidance, would have been $0.26 per diluted share. This was above our expectations due principally to a lower effective tax rate associated with state income taxes. Our press release and 10-K provide the details around our financial results this past year. So I won't repeat the specifics.

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