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Williams Partners' CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Stocks in this article: WPZ

Now, a few quick comments about the variances for the quarter, first of all, the segment profit as we mentioned was up 12% and this was driven by mild – really driven by the mild winter that we had to a very large degree really in two ways. First, the low natural gas prices certainly helped our NGL margin, despite a declining NGL prices through the quarter. And then two of our – most of our operating volumes were much better than we expected due to lack of production freeze-offs that we often encounter in the first quarter. So, overall, we actually benefited from the mild weather for the results in the first quarter.

Next, DCF or distributable cash flow was up 8%, but this was somewhat negatively impacted relative to our segment profit due to higher maintenance CapEx and certainly our maintenance CapEx, in the quarter was double what we had in the first quarter of 2011. Usually, we are not able to do a whole lot of our maintenance work in the first quarter due to severe weather, but obviously this has not been the case in most of our operating areas this winter. We do still have a lot of maintenance to do during the second and third quarter however, so I don't think you should read that our maintenance CapEx is going to be lower for the entire year. It’s just that we were able to move a little bit of that forward.

So, anyway, great progress going on really across the Board in terms of operating on the growth side. The opportunity just continue to come at us. We are very excited to be in the positions we're in. We think we're extremely well-suited for the demand that we think is going to continue to build on the natural gas side. We are certainly seeing a lot of strong signs of that on our pipelines. And we continue to have a lot of demands for infrastructure at the far ends of – upstream ends of our systems and as well on the downstream end, even in through the petchem infrastructure, we are seeing some very interesting opportunities to invest in and around the NGL infrastructure that will serve the growth in the petchem space as well. So, a lot going on across the Board, but our team is doing tremendous job of keeping up with all the growth and we are continuing to execute both in terms of running the business and as well the continued build out of the growth projects that we have on our plate.

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