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National Fuel Gas' CEO Discusses Q3 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

We would like to remind you that today's teleconference will contain forward-looking statements. While National Fuel's expectations, beliefs and projections are made in good faith and are believed to have a reasonable basis, actual results may differ materially. These statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and you may refer to last evening's earnings release for a listing of certain specific risk factors

With that, we will begin with Dave Smith.

David F. Smith

Thank you, Tim, and good morning to everyone. Last night National Fuel reported third earnings of $0.52 per share. Continuing the trend from the first half of the fiscal year, lower realized natural gas prices had a significant impact on our consolidated results. Quarter-over-quarter Seneca’s Natural Gas prices after hedging were $1.55 per Mcf lower, which reduced E&P earnings by about $0.20 per share.

Despite a drop of 28%, and realized natural gas prices. Consolidated earnings overall were down only 7% or $0.04 per share. Thanks in large part to our diversified business model and our continued focus on long-term growth particularly in our midstream businesses.

There were multiple bright spots across all of our major business segments. At Seneca, consolidated production was up 31%. In the Pipeline and Storage segment the Line N and Tioga County extension projects help drive a $0.10 per share increase in earnings.

The Trout Run gathering system was just recently placed in service, and while utility earnings were down slightly by $0.02 per share our employees in both of our regulated business segments did a great job and keeping an eye on spending, which help to limit the overall impact of the 17% warmer than normal winter.

Operationally, National Fuel had a great quarter, as I just mentioned Seneca‘s consolidated production of 22.1-Bcfe increased 5.2-Bcfe or 31% despite a reduction in CapEx. Most of this increase in production occurred in each division where in late May we commenced production on four very good wells on our Tract 100 acreage in Lycoming County.

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