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Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

I'd also like to remind you that during this call today, we may discuss certain non-GAAP financial measures, such as EBITDA and distributable cash flow. With regard to such financial measures, please refer to our earnings release for a reconciliation to the most comparable GAAP measures.

Now I'd like to turn the call over to Mr. Stan Horton.

Stanley C. Horton

Thank you, Allison. Good morning, everyone. I hope you've had a chance to review the press release we issued this morning. In addition to reporting earnings, we increased our quarterly distribution to $53.25 per unit or $2.13 per unit annualized. This morning, I'm going to provide a brief industry and commercial update, and then Jamie will review the financial results and provide an update on our financing activities.

As everyone who follows this industry is well aware, natural gas prices are trading in the $2 range, a range we've not seen in more than a decade. These low gas prices are a result of the warmest winter in 80 years, combined with robust gas supply. These conditions have had both a positive and negative impacts to our business.

Our utilization-driven revenues were negatively impacted by lower gas prices and lower throughput due to the warm winter weather. However, like storage operators everywhere, the warm winter has resulted in storage inventory levels that are much higher than normal this time of year. These high storage inventory levels, combined with extremely low gas prices at the front of the NYMEX curve, are currently producing parking and lending spreads that are far more favorable than last year.

Couple of things to note about parking and lending: first, a large portion of these transactions are typically entered into after the withdrawal season is complete; and second, parking and lending revenues are recognized across the entire time frame of the transaction, which can often span a year in duration. Therefore, although parking and lending revenues did not significantly increase in the first quarter, we are encouraged by the spreads we're seeing in the market right now.

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