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RRI Energy, Inc. Q2 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

RRI Energy, Inc. Q2 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

RRI Energy, Inc. (RRI)

Q2 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

July 30, 2010 8:30 am ET


Dennis Barber – VP, IR

Mark Jacobs – President and CEO

Rick Dobson – EVP and CFO


Dan Eggers – Credit Suisse

Lasan Johong – RBC Capital Markets

Brandon Blossman – Tudor, Pickering

Angie Storozynski – Macquarie

Matt Milam – Seneca Capital

Gregg Orrill – Barclays Capital

Ameet Thakkar – Bank of America

Brian Russo – Ladenburg Thalmann

Jeffrey Coviello – Duquesne Capital

Julien Dumoulin


Smith – UBS

Jeff Gildersleeve – Millennium Partners



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Welcome to the RRI Energy's second quarter 2010 earnings conference call. My name is Sandra, and I will be your operator for today's call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. Please note that this conference is being recorded. I will now turn the call over to Mr. Dennis Barber. Mr. Barber, you may begin.

Dennis Barber

Good morning, and welcome to RRI Energy's second quarter conference call. Leading the call this morning are Mark Jacobs, president and CEO; and, Rick Dobson, our chief financial officer. Following our prepared remarks, we'll have a question-and-answer session. The earnings release as well as the slide presentation we are using today is available on our Web site at in the Investor Relations section. A replay of this call will also be available on the Web site approximately two hours after the call.

Consistent with our past practice, we're using several non-GAAP measures to provide additional insight into the operating results. Reconciliations for the non-GAAP measures to GAAP figures are available on the Web site. One of the items we adjusted for this quarter was merger related costs associated with our proposed merger with Mirant Corporation. As we previously indicated, we're not updating the 2010 or 2011 outlook in light of our pending merger with Mirant, and do not expect to do so until after the transaction is closed.

I would remind you that the principal near term drivers of our open and adjusted EBITDA are commodity prices. We have provided some commodity price sensitivities that allow you to generally understand the impact commodity price changes would have on the outlook.

Turning to slides two of the presentation, all projections or forward-looking statements we make today, including about the proposed merger with Mirant, are based on our current expectations and involved risks, assumptions, and uncertainties. These statements are subject to the Safe Harbors contained in this slide. Actual results may differ materially from our projections or forward-looking statements as a result of many factors, including those described in this slide and in our SEC filings. The Safe Harbors in slide three describe how you may obtain copies of the SEC filed materials related to the proposed merger. Information regarding persons who may be participants in the merger solicitation is also described in the slide. We urge you to read all these Safe Harbors and the referenced materials.

I'll now turn it over to Mark.

Mark Jacobs

Thank you, Dennis, and good morning, everyone. Welcome to our second quarter earnings call. This morning, we released our Q2 2010 results, which are summarized on slide five. We reported open EBITDA of $4 million, and breakeven adjusted EBITDA. For the first six- months of the year, open EBITDA was $29 million and adjusted EBITDA was $32 million. Each of these figures was up versus 2009. Rick will take you through the results in more detail, including comments on free cash flow.

The headlines are that progress against our 2010 initiatives is largely on track despite a challenging commodity price in economic environment, although there are reasons for cautious optimism.

On slide six, I'll cover the highlights of the quarter. Without question, the most significant event was our announced merger with Mirant to form GenOn Energy. Before updating you on the merger, there are several other topics that I wanted to touch on.

As you know, capacity revenue provides an important source of predictable base earnings for our fleet. And we have (inaudible) comes from energy margin. In May, PGM conducted the RPM capacity auction for planning year 2013. You will recall the planning year 2013 covers seven months of calendar year 2013 and five months of calendar year 2014. We bid roughly 7,500 megawatts into the auction and cleared 94% of what we bid. As with the previous RPM auction, several of the eastern zones cleared at significantly higher prices than RTO.

In terms of our results, we cleared more than 4,300 megawatts in Eastern Mac and Mac; had a weighted average price of $231 per megawatt day and over 2,700 RTO megawatts at $28 per megawatt day. In aggregate, the RPM capacity market for planning year 2013 will provide $394 million of revenue. That represents the second highest revenue level we've cleared since the RPM model was implemented. Our forward book of capacity and PPA revenue now stands in excess of $1.6 billion from 2011 through 2014.

As you will recall, we previously implemented a modest hedging program for 2010 and 2011 with the objective of being free cash flow breakeven or better irrespective of market conditions. The hedges have performed as we expected them to. And we remain on track to deliver these results. We've also taken a first step towards hedging in 2012, with a modest guest hedge that Rick will discuss in more detail.

Turning to the Cheswick scrubber, we completed the tie-in of the scrubber last month. And it's fully operational. With its completion, about half of our coal-generated megawatt hours come from scrub plants.

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