NextEra Energy's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

NextEra Energy (NEE)

Q1 2012 Earnings Call

April 25, 2012 9:00 am ET

Executives

Unknown Executive -

Moray P. Dewhurst - Vice Chairman, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Finance

Lewis Hay - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of Executive Committee, Chairman of FPL Energy LLC and Chairman of Florida Power & Light Company

Analysts

Dan Eggers - Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division

Steven I. Fleishman - BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division

Michael J. Lapides - Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division

Brian Chin - Citigroup Inc, Research Division

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

Paul Patterson - Glenrock Associates LLC

Paul T. Ridzon - KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Research Division

Ashar Khan

Kamal B. Patel - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Research Division

Presentation

Operator

Good day everyone, and welcome to the NextEra Energy 2012 First Quarter Earnings Release Conference Call. Today's conference is being recorded. At this time for opening remarks, I would like to turn the call over to Ms. Julie Hong [ph], Director of Investor Relations for NextEra Energy Incorporated. Please go ahead, ma'am.

Unknown Executive

Thank you, Cecilia. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to our First Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. Joining us this morning are Lew Hay, NextEra Energy's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Jim Robo, President and Chief Operating Officer of NextEra Energy; Moray Dewhurst, Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer of NextEra Energy; Eric Silagy, President of Florida Power & Light Company; and Armando Pimentel, President and Chief Executive Officer of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC. Moray will provide an overview of our results, following which, our senior management team will be available to take your questions.

We will be making statements during this call that are forward-looking. These statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from our forward-looking statements if any of our key assumptions are incorrect or because other factors discussed in today's earnings news release and the comments made during this conference call in the Risk Factors section of the accompanying presentation or in our latest reports and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, each of which can be found in the Investor Relations section of our website, www.nexteraenergy.com. We do not undertake any duty to update any forward-looking statements.

Please also note that today's presentation includes references to adjusted earnings, which is a non-GAAP financial measure. You should refer to the information contained in the slides accompanying this presentation for definitional information and reconciliations of the non-GAAP measure to the closest GAAP financial measure.

With that, I will turn the call over to Moray.

Moray P. Dewhurst

Thank you, Julie. Good morning, everyone. NextEra Energy delivered solid results during the first quarter of 2012 and is off to a good start in meeting the objectives that we have set out for ourselves and discuss with you on our last earnings call.

At FPL, we maintained a regulatory ROE of appropriately 11%, consistent with the 2010 settlement agreement and average regulatory capital employed grew $3.2 billion or roughly 15.6% over the same quarter last year, reflecting our continuing commitment of new capital to the business, which is designed to enhance what we believe is already the best customer value proposition in the state. As a consequence, net income grew $34 million or 16.6%.

At Energy Resources, the adjusted earnings contribution compared to the prior year comparable quarter was close to flat, as contributions from new business roughly offset declines from the existing asset portfolio. Given the headwinds facing this business that we have previously discussed, we are satisfied with this performance. More broadly, we made good progress on various execution objectives we discussed on our last earnings call, and we remain on track to meet our goals for 2012 and beyond.

In Florida, the economy continued to improve, although it is still weaker than we would all desire. Virtually, every significant indicator that we track is now appreciably improved from the trough of 2009, and this quarter showed a continuation of a general upward trend. While we continue to believe that full recovery depends in part on recovery elsewhere in the U.S., we are optimistic that Florida will, in time, revert to its longer-term path and of greater strength than the national average.

Within a slowly improving economic environment, FPL continued to deliver what we firmly believe is the best customer value proposition in the state. Our typical bills remain the lowest of the 55 utilities in the state, and about 25% below the national average. Our service reliability ranks in the top quartile on a national basis. We provide our customers with award-winning service, and we have a very clean emissions profile, which reduces risk from a customer perspective.

We continue to be one of the most efficient utilities in the nation, with our non-fuel O&M per kilowatt hour, ranking us among the top 10% in operating efficiency in the nation. Our major projects at FPL, which are aimed at improving on this value proposition, all progressed well during the quarter and we made our formal filing for rate release.

Outside of Florida, the Energy Resources portfolio generally performed well, with the exception of the continued down power at Seabrook, associated with generated cooling limit, which will continue through the next regularly scheduled outage in the fall of 2012.

While gas and power markets continued to weaken, our high degree of hedging protected us against significant impacts in the first quarter and should continue to do so for many quarters to come.

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