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Piedmont Natural Gas Management Discusses Q3 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

And with that, I'll turn the call over to Tom.

Thomas E. Skains

Thank you, Nick. And good morning, everybody, and thank you for joining us for our third quarter 2012 earnings conference call. As you know, on Friday we filed our 10-Q and issued our third quarter earnings release. This morning, I'm going to talk about our recent accomplishments and provide you with a general update on the company. Then I'll turn the call over to Karl to give you a more detailed discussion of our third quarter financial results and our updated 2012 guidance.

Beginning with Slide 2. Due to the seasonal nature of our business, we typically experience losses during the summer months that make up our third quarter. This quarter, we recorded a net loss of $4.6 million or $0.06 per diluted share, which was improved from a net loss of $8.7 million or $0.12 per share in the third quarter of 2011. We continue to be encouraged by customer growth in our service area. During the quarter, we added 2,670 new customers to our system and have added more than 8,700 customers year-to-date.

With the completion of our first 4 power generation delivery projects for Duke Energy, our focus this quarter has been on our fifth project for the Sutton facility. The Sutton project continues to progress on schedule, and I'll speak to it in more detail in just a moment.

Finally, on Friday, we reaffirmed our 2012 earnings per share guidance range of $1.58 to $1.68 per share. At the end of the first quarter, we directed investors towards the lower half of that range and confirmed that emphasis at the end of the second quarter.

Following this quarter, though, we're pointing back up to the middle of the range. Karl will provide you with more details in our guidance after my remarks.

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