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Great Plains Energy Incorporated's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Stocks in this article: GXP

Before we begin, I must remind you of the inherent uncertainties in any forward-looking statements in our discussion this morning. Slide 2 and the disclosure in our SEC filings contain a list of some of the factors that could cause future results to differ materially from our expectations.

I also want to remind everyone that we issued our earnings release and first quarter 2012 10-Q after the market closed yesterday. These items are available along with today's slides and supplemental financial information regarding the quarter on the main page of our website at www.greatplainsenergy.com. With that, I'll now turn the call over the Mike Chesser.

Michael J. Chesser

Thanks, Kevin, and good morning, everyone. We appreciate you joining us this morning. I know it's a busy time. I hope you had an opportunity to read the earnings release we issued yesterday. We announced a loss of $9.5 million or $0.07 per share compared with an earnings of $2 million or $0.01 per share last year. Weather during the quarter had a significant impact on our earnings. Heating degree days were down 34% versus last year and down 27% versus normal. In fact, it was the first -- warmest first quarter for the Kansas City region in more than 80 years. We were also negatively impacted by an unplanned outage at Wolf Creek. As we disclosed during our 2011 year-end webcast, a breaker failure in a substation located at Wolf Creek led to an unplanned outage in January. The plant remained offline to address the interruption and implement necessary corrective actions before returning to service in late March.

The unit has performed well since returning to service, and particularly, as we head into the peak summer season. Despite these challenges in the first quarter, we believe we are positioned to deliver earnings within our guidance range. As a result, we are affirming our 2012 earnings guidance range of $1.20 to $1.40 per share. As a reminder, the current guidance range was updated in late February when we had a directional view of the first quarter. Jim will provide more detail on the quarter in his comments.

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