SCANA's CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

SCANA Corporation (SCG)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

August 2, 2012 2:00 pm ET

Executives

Byron Hinson - IR

Jimmy Addison - CFO

Steve Byrne - COO, SCE&G

Analysts

Travis Miller - Morningstar Securities

Jay Dobson - Wunderlich Securities

Michael Lapides - Goldman Sachs

David Paltz - Bank of America Merrill Lynch

John Hanson - Presidus

Ashar Khan - Visium

Presentation

Operator

At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the SCANA Corporation conference call. (Operator Instructions) At this time, I would like to turn the call over to Byron Hinson, Director of Financial Planning and Investor Relations.

Byron Hinson

Thank you. I'd like to welcome everyone to our earnings conference call, including those who are joining us on the webcast. As you know, earlier today, we announced financial results for the second quarter of 2012. Joining us on the call today are Jimmy Addison, SCANA's Chief Financial Officer, and Steve Byrne, Chief Operating Officer of SCE&G.

During the call, Jimmy will provide an overview of our financial results, economic development on our service territory and regulatory activity, including our recently filed base rate case for our electric business. Additionally, Steve will provide an update on our nuclear project, after which we'll respond to your questions. Slides and the earnings release that we'll refer to in this call are available at SCANA.com.

Before I turn the call over to Jimmy, I would like to remind you that certain statements that maybe made during today's call which are not statements of historical fact are considered forward-looking statements and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties which are shown on Slide 2 and discussed in the company's SEC filings. The company does not recognize an obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

Finally, as noted on Slide 2, we will disclose certain non-GAAP measures during this presentation, and the required Reg G information can be found in or not used in conjunction with this call.

I'll now turn the call over to Jimmy.

Jimmy Addison

Thanks, Byron, and thank you all for joining us today. We're pleased with the financial results for the second quarter and the progress of our new nuclear efforts. Steve and I plan to thoroughly update you on both of these matters today.

As shown on Slide 3, basic earnings per share were $0.55 for the second quarter of 2012 versus $0.44 in 2011. Higher electric margin from increased consumption and rate increases under the Base Load Review Act was partially offset by the cost of our capital program, interest expense, depreciation, property taxes and share dilution.

Gas margins were also higher due to the rate increase under the Rate Stabilization Act. Operating and maintenance expenses grew slightly over the second quarter of 2011, largely due to the timing of plant expenses, healthcare cost and incentive compensation.

Please turn to Slide 4. As you can see, basic earnings per share for the six months ended June 30, 2012 were $1.48 versus $1.44 in 2011. Increases in electric margin were partially offset by lower gas margins in Georgia, due to the mild weather in the first quarter along with higher operating and maintenance expenses and higher expenses related to our capital program, specifically depreciation, property taxes, interest and share dilution.

Now on Slide 5, I'd like to review results for our principal lines of business. Healthcare, and electric and gas companies 2012 second quarter basic earnings per share denoted in blue, were $0.59, an increase of $0.11 over the second quarter of 2011. Electric margin was higher due primarily to increases under the Base Load Review Act.

Additionally, we experienced increased non-weather related consumption during the quarter. This increase in margin was offset by higher operating and maintenance expenses, interest expense and depreciation as well as share dilution. Year-to-date basic earnings were higher by $0.11 due primarily to higher electric margin.

PSNC energy shown in red, reported flat earnings per share for the second quarter of 2012 versus the seasonal loss of $0.01 per share in the second quarter of 2011, increases in margin due to customer growth contributed to the improvement. For the six-month period ended June 30, 2012, basic earnings were $0.24 per share in line with the prior year.

SCANA energy in green reported the seasonal loss of $0.02 per share for the second quarter of 2012, consistent with last year. Year-to-date earnings are down $0.08 due to the impact of mild winter weather in the first quarter.

Our corporate and other businesses reported their loss for the quarter of $0.02 per share compared to a loss of $0.01 per share in 2011. For the six-month period, these businesses reported earnings per share of $0.04 compared to $0.03 in the same period last year.

Next, I'd like to touch on economic trends in our service area, as shown on Slide 6. We continue to see new business growth and expansion of existing businesses. In the second quarter, company's announced plans to invest $289 million with expectations of creating over 350 jobs in our South Carolina territory.

Our gas businesses in North Carolina also saw a promising quarter of economic announcements, with companies projecting investment of $325 million and over 1,400 jobs. We are pleased that this year is shaping out to be another solid year in terms of economic development in our territories.

On the heels of these major economic announcements, unemployment rates remain stable. Major businesses such as Boeing and Amazon that have located in our territory hiring employees quickly, and we're pleased to see these recent industrial expansions translating into jobs.

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