IDACORP, Inc. (IDA)

Q1 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

May 6, 2010 4:30 pm ET

Executives

Lawrence Spencer – Director, IR

LaMont Keen – President and CEO

Darrel Anderson – EVP, Administrative Services, and CFO

Ric Gale – VP, Regulatory Affairs, Idaho Power

Analysts

Brian Russo – Ladenburg Thalmann

Emily Christy – RBC Capital Markets

James Bellessa – Davidson & Co.

Sarah Akers – Wells Fargo

Presentation

Operator

Good day and welcome, everyone to the IDACORP first quarter 2010 conference call. Today’s call is being recorded and is being webcast live. A complete replay will also be available from the end of the day for a period of 12 months to the company’s website at www.idacorpinc.com. (Operator Instructions)

At this time, I would like to turn the call over to the Director of Investor Relations, Mr. Lawrence Spencer. Please go ahead, sir.

Lawrence Spencer

Thank you, Regina, and good afternoon, everyone. Welcome to our May 6, first quarter 2010 earnings release conference call. We issued our earnings release before the markets opened today and that document along with our SEC Form 10-Q is now posted to our IDACORP website at www.idacorpinc.com.

We will be using a few slides to supplement today's call and these are also located at our IDACORP website. We will refer to specific slide numbers as we work our way through today's presentation.

Now, moving to slide two, on the call today we have LaMont Keen, IDACORP and Idaho Power President and CEO; and Darrel Anderson, IDACORP and Idaho Power Executive Vice President of Administrative Services and CFO. We also have other individuals available to help answer your questions during the Q&A period.

Before turning the presentation over to LaMont, I’ll cover a few details with you. First, our complete Safe Harbor statement is on slide three. Our presentation today may contain forward-looking statements and it is important to note that the Corporation’s future results could differ materially from those discussed. A more complete discussion of the factors that could cause future results to differ materially can be found in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Now, referring to slide four, I'll briefly discuss the financial results from today's earnings press release. First quarter 2010 net income attributable to IDACORP was $16.1 million, $2.8 million less than last year's first quarter. Idaho Power's first quarter 2010 net income was $18.2 million compared to $19.3 million in 2009. IDACORP earnings decreased by $0.06 per diluted share quarter-over-quarter to $0.34 per diluted share. As indicated in today's earnings press release, the 2010 earnings guidance remains unchanged in the range of $2.65 to $2.80 per diluted share.

I'll now turn the presentation over to LaMont.

LaMont Keen

Thanks, Larry, and welcome to our call, participants. We thank you for you interest in IDACORP. Our local economy continued to feel the impacts of the recession during the first quarter and the warmer-than-normal winter temperatures and relatively poor economic conditions impacted retail energy sales and therefore, earnings.

First quarter hydroelectric production was stronger this year compared to last year during the same period. Our hydroelectric facilities generated approximately 1.9 million megawatt hours during this quarter compared to approximately 1.6 million megawatt hours in 2009. However, based upon current snowpack conditions, hydrogenation for the year is expected to be between 6.5 million and 8.5 million megawatt hours in 2010 compared to 8.1 million megawatt hours in 2009.

We continue working with others along the Snake River Basin to find ways to collaborate and keep more water in the river, optimizing our hydroelectric capacity, which as you know, is the backbone of our generating resources.

And while our earnings were lower during the same quarter this year versus last year, our earnings guidance for the year remains unchanged. And despite the slow economy and anticipated below-normal hydro conditions, we continue stepping forward as an enterprise, delivering on our financial and operational commitments and building the business for the long term. Our three-part strategy, responsible planning, responsible development and protection of resources, and responsible energy use remains our guide through the recession.

During the quarter, progress continued on a range of projects, furthering our long-range goals as shown on slide five. To date, we've installed approximately 250,000 advanced meters for our customers with the balance due to be installed by the end of 2011. Advanced meters are the first step toward preparing for a new era for electric energy. The $47 million Department of Energy's Smart Grid Investment Grant allows us to accelerate planned smart grid infrastructure, providing customers more choice and control and to promote productive relationships with our 490,000 customers.

Progress continues on our Langley Gulch natural gas-fired power plant and we remain on schedule and on budget. We anticipate breaking ground this summer and are excited to add this base load generating resource to augment our diversified portfolio.

Our 500 kilovolt transmission projects benefit from the Memorandum of Understanding or MOU signed with PacifiCorp in March. While not binding, the MOU sets the foundation for more efficient utilization of the existing transmission system and allows for partnering on new projects for both companies to better serve regional needs. It calls for joint ownership and development opportunities associated with the Boardman to Hemingway and Gateway West transmission line projects. At its core, the MOU allows Idaho Power to share development costs, while implementing the strategy set forth in our 2009 integrated resource plan and meeting our obligation to serve.

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