Portland General Electric Company ( POR)

Q3 2011 Earnings Conference Call

November 3, 2011 11:00 AM ET


Bill Valach – Director of Investor Relations,

Jim Piro – President, CEO

Maria Pope – Senior Vice President of Finance, CFO and Treasurer


Sarah Akers –Wells Fargo

Neil Mehta – Goldman Sachs

James Bellessa – DA Davidson

Mark Barnet – Morningstar



Good morning everyone and welcome to Portland General Electric Company’s Third Quarter 2011 Earnings Results Conference Call. Today is Thursday, November 3, 2011. This call is being recorder and as such, all lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise.

(Operator instructions). For opening remarks, I would like to turn the conference call over to Portland General Electric’s Director of Investor Relations, Mr. Bill Valach, please go ahead sir.

Bill   Valach

Thank you Jay [ph]. And good morning everyone, and we’re very pleased that you’re able to join us today. Before we begin our discussion, this morning I’d like to make our customary statements regarding Portland General Electric’s written and oral disclosures and commentary.

There will be statements in this call that are not based on historical facts and as such constitute forward-looking statements under current law. These statements are subject to factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements made today.

For a description in some of the factors that may occur that could cause such differences, the company requests that you read our most recent form 10-K and form 10-Qs. The form 10–Q for the third quarter 2011 was available this morning at portlandgeneral.com. The company undertakes no obligation to update publicly in any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, information future events or otherwise.

These safe harbor statements should be incorporated as any part – as part of any transcript of this call. Portland General Electric’s third quarter earnings were released before the market opened today, and the release is available at portlandgeneral.com. Leading our discussion today are Jim Piro, President and CEO, and Maria Pope, Senior Vice President of Finance, CFO and Treasurer.

Jim will begin today’s presentation by providing a general overview of the quarter’s result, and our strategic capital projects, then Maria will provide more detail around the quarterly results, and key regulatory proceedings. Following prepared remarks, we will open the lines for your questions, and now it’s my pleasure to turn the call over to Jim.

Jim Piro

Thank you, Bill, good morning and thank you for joining us. Welcome to Portland General Electric’s 2011 Third Quarter Earnings Call. We delivered strong operational performance in all sectors of our business during the quarter.

As a result of the continued increase in energy received from hydro resources, combined with low cost purchase power, we were also able to effectively manage our power supply and economically displaced a significant amount of our thermal generation.

We also continued to move forward to implement our business strategy to meet the growing energy needs of our customers. Now on to the quarter’s results. PGE’s net income for third quarter 2011 was $27 million or $0.36 per diluted share compared to $49 million or $0.65 per diluted share for the third quarter 2010.

It is important to note that there were some non-recurring items that positively impact the third quarter last year with the most significant being $20 million pretax collection for SB 408. This amount was reversed in the fourth quarter 2010. We are reaffirming our full year 2011 earnings guidance of $1.90 to $2.05 per diluted share and plan to provide 2012 earnings guidance in our fourth quarter earnings release schedule for February of next year.

Now let’s move on to the economic outlook in our operating area. We continue to see customer growth with the addition of 2400 new customers since the third quarter of 2010. According to the Oregon employment department, Oregon seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained flat at 9.6% in September.

This compares to the U.S. average of 9.1%. Oregon’s private sector payroll grew faster then the national average with growth of 2.3% in the last nine months compared to the same period last year versus 1.6% for the U.S. The Oregon office of economic analysis forecast that jobs in Oregon will continue to grow faster than the U.S. average during the next several years.

Growth is likely to be concentrated in higher wage jobs, reflecting activity and high technology manufacturing as illustrated by the substantial expansion project currently underway at Intel. Including the effects of energy efficiency measures, PGE’s weather adjusted retail energy deliveries increased approximately 0.7% in the third quarter 2011 compared to third quarter 2010.

This increase was driven by growth in the industrial sector specifically the paper production industry excluding two large paper companies total weather adjusted deliveries for the quarter would have declined 0.4% compared to 2010. This decline driven by lower than anticipated residential loads during July and August has led us to revise our projected weather adjusted deliveries for the full year of 2011.

From an increase of 1% to an increase of approximately one-half of a percent. This again excludes the impacts of the two large paper production customers noted previously. One of which has access to the wholesale market through PGE at prevailing market prices.

While weather adjusted residential demand began to increase again in September, we do not believe growth over the remainder of the year will make up for the reduced demand during the summer.

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