El Paso Electric Co. Q2 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

El Paso Electric Co. Q2 2010 Earnings Call Transcript
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El Paso Electric Co. (EE)

Q2 2010 Earnings Call

August 4, 2010 10:30 am ET

Executives

Steve Busser - VP, Treasurer & CRO

David Stevens - CEO

David Carpenter - SVP & CFO

Analysts

Brian Russo - Ladenburg Thalmann

Michael Lapides

José Garza

Igor Grinman - Zimmer Lucas Partners

Paul Fremont - Jefferies & Company

Peter Hark

Chris Shelton

David Stevens

Presentation

Operator

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Previous Statements by EE
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Good day ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the El Paso Electric Company Second Quarter Earnings conference call. At this time all participants are in listen only mode. Later we will conduct a question and answer session and instructions will follow at that time (Operator Instructions). As a remainder this conference call is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the call over to your host Steve Busser.

Steve Busser

Thank you Melina and good morning everyone thank you for tuning into the El Paso Electric Company second quarter 2010 earnings conference call. I’m Steve Busser and also on the call with me today I have our CEO David Stevens and our CFO David Carpenter. Today we will provide an update on our second quarter 2010 financial performance including a discussion on our pertinent earnings drivers. We will also discuss our recently approved Texas rate case and our overall regulatory calendar.

Finally we will discuss our earnings guidance for 2010; I would first like to cover some items that will be pertinent to our call today before we get started. You should have a copy of our press release and if you don’t you can obtain from our website on the investor relations page.

We currently anticipate that our second quarter 2010 Form 10-Q will be filed with the SEC by the end of this week. As for upcoming IR events, we are currently scheduled to attend the Goldman Sachs Energy Conference on August 12

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and we’ll also be joining Goldman Sachs on a investor tour in early October 2010. We are also currently planning to attend the EEI conference in late October 2010 in California. We will provide further update on any IR events and future conference calls please call our investor relations department if you have any inquires or require further information. A replay of this call will be available shortly after the call ends and we will run through August 18

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. The details as it relates to the replay of this call are disclosed in our press release.

I’ll now cover the Safe Harbor provisions before I turn the call over to David. On page 2 of our presentation you will see our Safe Harbor statement. In summary, our comments and answers to your questions may include forward-looking statements made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and other factors, which may cause the company’s actual results in future periods to differ materially from those expressed here. Any such statement as qualified by reference to the risks and factors discussed in our SEC Act filings our 10-K and other SEC filings contain our forward-looking statements and also lay out the risk factors that should be considered.

These filings may be obtained upon request from the company on our website or from the SEC. The company cautious that the risk factors discussed in these filings are not exclusive and we do not undertake to update any forward-looking statement that may be made from time to time by or on behalf of the company. These statements, especially those made during the Q&A section of the call are subject to risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. Now I would like to turn the call over to our CEO David Stevens.

David

Stevens

Thank you Steve, good morning and thank you to everybody for joining our call this morning, this is David Stevens the CEO of El Paso Electric Company.

If you’ll turn to page 3, I’m going to start by going over our second quarter 2010 highlights. I’m very pleased with our second quarter earnings of $0.49 for basic share which represents a $0.15 increase over the result of the second quarter of 2009 and which demonstrates the inherit organic growth we have in our core business. Overall every segment of our retail business posted growth and our large commercial and industrial customer base expanded 13.3% during the quarter compared to 2009. We believe this reflects the continued strength of our local economy.

The significant growth we had in retail kilowatt-hours sales resulted in us obtaining a new native record peak load of 1615 megawatts on July 19

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of 2010. In 2009 our native record peak load was 1571 megawatts.

I’m also excited to announce that during the second quarter of 2010 we repurchased approximately 298,000 shares at a total cost of $5.9 million. And during the first six month of 2010 we have repurchased over 502,000 shares at a cost of $10 million.

We are strongly committed to finding ways to enhance value for our shareholders. Another important achievement for us during the quarter occurred when we reached a unanimous settlement with all parties in our Texas rate case and filed our final settlement agreement at the Public Utility Commission of Texas. On July 30

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of 2010 the PUCT issued a final order in support of the settlement agreement.

Later in the call David Carpenter will discuss the specific provisions of our Texas rate case outcome. Finally I would like to briefly discuss the reinstatement of our earnings guidance. Previously we have suspended the issuance of a defined earnings guidance range due to the pendency of the Texas rate case. As you are aware this was our first rate case in 15 years in Texas and due to the length of time since our last case and the associated issues resulting from this significant length of time between case we decided to suspend guidance.

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