Constellation Energy Group (CEG)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

October 28, 2011 8:30 am ET


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Mayo A. Shattuck - Executive Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, President, Chairman of Executive Committee, Chairman of Risk Management Committee and Director of Baltimore Gas & Electric

Sandra E. Brummitt - Director of Investor Relations

Jonathan W. Thayer - Chief Financial Officer, Senior Vice President and Member of Risk Management Committee


Brian Chin - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

Paul Patterson - Glenrock Associates

Paul B. Fremont - Jefferies & Company, Inc., Research Division

Jon Cohen - Morgan Stanley

Ameet I. Thakkar - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

James L. Dobson - Wunderlich Securities Inc., Research Division

Unknown Analyst -



Good morning, and welcome to Constellation Energy Group's Third Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] Today's conference is being recorded. If you have any objections, you may disconnect at this time. I will now turn the meeting over to the Director of Investor Relations for Constellation, Ms. Sandra Brummitt. Sandra, you may begin.

Sandra E. Brummitt

Thank you. Welcome to Constellation Energy's third quarter earnings call. We appreciate you being with us this morning. With me here in Baltimore today are Mayo Shattuck, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Jack Thayer, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Mayo and Jack will provide you their perspectives on our performance for the quarter, as well as our expectations for the future. Following their remarks, we'll take your questions.

Please turn your attention to slide 2, a reminder that our comments today will include forward-looking statements, which are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. For a complete discussion of these risks, we encourage you to read our documents on file with the SEC. Our presentation is being webcast, and the slides are available on our website,

On Slide 3, you'll notice we will use non-GAAP financial measures in this presentation to help you understand our operating performance. We have attached an appendix to the charts on the website reconciling non-GAAP measures to GAAP measures.

Turning to Slide 4. We will discuss our pending merger with Exelon during this presentation. In connection with the merger, we provided to our shareholders a joint proxy statement, prospectus and other relevant documents in connection with the proposed merger of Exelon and Constellation Energy. We urge investors to read the joint proxy statement, prospectus and any other relevant documents which contain important information about Exelon, Constellation Energy and the proposed merger. With that, I would like to turn the time over to Mayo.

Mayo A. Shattuck

Thank you, Sandra. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for your participation today. This morning we reported third quarter adjusted earnings of $0.68 per share, which includes a mark-to-market timing loss of $0.27 per share and Hurricane Irene storm restoration cost of $0.17 per share. Excluding these mark-to-market timing losses and restoration costs, our adjusted earnings would've been $1.12 per share.

Including onetime items, Constellation reported third quarter GAAP earnings of $0.36 per share. Excluding Hurricane Irene restoration expense and mark-to-market timing, we are reaffirming our 2011 guidance of $3.05 to $3.35 per share. At this point we expect to come in at the low end of that range. Jack will discuss our third quarter results and earnings outlook in more detail later in the presentation.

Our NewEnergy segment continues to execute in its integrated multiproduct energy supply and management strategy, bringing innovation and more choices to its customers. We have continued to perform above plan in our wholesale load serving business with win rates higher than expected. In September, we announced the solar panel leasing program that we are offering to residential customers in 6 states. We also launched the next-generation of our online energy management application for commercial users, VirtuWatt 3.0, which is also available as an iPhone and iPad app. Currently used by approximately 2,700 of our customer accounts, the application enables Constellation customers to better manage their electricity use and maximize the benefits of load response programs through realtime metering, pricing, beating and curtailment capabilities.

In addition, the integrations of our recently purchased residential businesses, MXenergy and StarTex are progressing as planned. At the same time, record-breaking heat in Texas presented a challenge to the NewEnergy segment for the quarter as we will discuss in more detail in a moment.

Within our Generation segment, our Texas plants performed well through the extreme stretch of heat, and our New England assets again outperformed for the quarter as net generation from the plants exceeded our expected output.

During the quarter our regulated utility BGE faced Hurricane Irene and some of the most damaging conditions we've seen during utility's 200-year history. While our employees perform extremely well in safely restoring 750,000 BGE customers who lost power, the massive storm was undoubtedly a major challenge for our business and our customers.

Turning to Slide 6. I'll discuss in more detail the storm's impact and our response. Hurricane Irene hit BGE in Central Maryland particularly hard resulting in more than 60% of BGE's 1.2 million electric customers losing power. Leveraging lessons learned during prior severe impact storms, BGE began pre-mobilization efforts and initiated request for mutual assistance early, which allowed us to ultimately secure nearly 2,600 personnel from 20 states. We also executed on BGE's advanced pre-storm communication and outreach plan to prepare customers for the possibility of extended outages. The restoration efforts were complicated by the widespread nature of the damage with more than 50% of the outages resulting from down trees and limbs.

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