Alliant's CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Alliant Energy Corporation (LNT)

Q1 2012 Results Earnings Call

May 04, 2012 10:00 AM ET

Executives

Susan Gille – Manager, Investor Relations

Pat Kampling – Chairman, President and CEO

Tom Hanson – Vice President and CFO

Analysts

Andrew Weisel – Macquarie Capital

Brian Russo – Ladenburg Thalmann

Jay Dobson – Wunderlich Securities

John Alley – Decade Capital

Andy Bischof – Morningstar Financial Services

Brian Russo – Ladenburg Thalmann

Ashar Khan – Visium

Presentation

Operator

Thank you for holding, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Alliant Energy’s First Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all lines are in a listen-only mode. Today’s conference is being recorded.

I’d now like to turn the conference over to your host, Susan Gille, Manager of Investor Relations at Alliant Energy. Please go ahead.

Susan Gille

Good morning. I would like to thank all of you on the call and the webcast for joining us today. We appreciate your participation.

With me today are Pat Kampling, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Tom Hanson, Vice President and CFO, as well as other members of the senior management team. Following prepared remarks by Pat and Tom, we will have time to take questions from the investment community.

We issued a news release this morning announcing Alliant Energy’s first quarter 2012 earnings. This release, as well as supplemental slides that will be referenced during today’s call, are available on the Investor page of our website at www.alliantenergy.com.

Before we begin, I need to remind you the remarks we make on this call and our answers to your questions include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks that could cause actual results to be materially different.

Those risks include, among others, matters discussed in Alliant Energy’s press release issued this morning and in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We disclaim any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

In addition, this presentation contains non-GAAP financial measures. The reconciliation between non-GAAP and GAAP measures are provided in supplemental slides, which are available on our website at www.alliantenergy.com.

At this point, I will turn the call over to Pat.

Pat Kampling

Good morning. Thank you all for joining us this morning as we review our first quarter 2012 results. It is no surprise that our first quarter financial performance was negatively impacted by the warm weather. However, we plan to manage our spending during the rest of this year to lessen the impact.

With the exception of the weather, our first quarter non-GAAP financial performance was inline with our expectations, just like last year the tax benefit rider cost adjustments this quarter but is not expected to have an impact on full year results.

Yesterday, we filed a proposal in Wisconsin to freeze electric retail base rates for 2013 and 2014, and to reduce gas retail base rates for 2013 carrying through 2014. This proposal is a result of our collaboration with commission staff and major intervener groups. The proposal is consistent with our plans to minimize rate increases while allowing us to earn authorized return. Tom will provide more detail on these matters in a few minutes.

An important item to share with you today is that we have decided to continue with PTCs for Whispering Willow and the Bent Tree utility Wind Farm instead of the cash grant option. We believe that with our strong cash flow, we can maintain adequate liquidity, capitalization ratios and credit metrics.

Therefore, we do not plan on any -- on issuing any material new common equity through 2013. We will assess our future equity needs after we receive regulatory approvals on the large projects we will propose later this year.

Let me now brief you on some of our current activities. It has been and will continue to be a very active and productive year as we continue to focus on transforming and balancing our generating fleet.

Our plans include retrofitting our Tier 1 coal plants, investigating less expensive emission controls for our Tier 2 Units and increasing the amount of gas-fired generation in our portfolio.

We’re proud that our $4 billion capital expenditure plan for 2012 to 2015 is not only reducing emissions in our communities, but is also bringing welcome jobs to Wisconsin and Iowa. At WP&L, we are in the construction phase at Edgewater 5 for an SCR and our Columbia Unit 1 and 2 baghouses and scrubbers.

We are pleased to report that the Edgewater 5 project is proceeding within budget and is a bit ahead of schedule. This project capital expenditures excluding AFUDC are estimated to be $145 million and the controls are expected to be in service by the end of 2012.

Last month, we broke ground on a $627 million controls at Columbia. The BPLs portion of this project is approximately $300 million and the controls are expected to be in service in the first half of 2014.

At IPL, mid-American is currently installing baghouses and scrubbers at Neil Units 3 and 4. IPL’s portion of the total capital expenditures excluding AFUDC is estimated to be approximately $130 million.

We are also in the process of finalizing engineering, procurement and construction contract for the scrubber and baghouse at our Ottumwa facility. IPL’s portion of the capital expenditure for this project excluding AFUDC is estimated to be between $150 million and $170 million.

The environmental work underway at IPL’s Ottumwa and Neil facilities and WPLs Edgewater and Columbia facilities supports compliance with current environmental rules. This year, we plan to request regulatory approval to install the remaining controls for our Tier 1 facilities. They will be ready to comply with the cross state rule or some new version of it.

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