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

PPL Corporation (PPL)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

August 8, 2012 9:00 am ET


Joseph P. Bergstein – Investor Relations

William H. Spence – Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer

Paul A. Farr – Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Rick L. Klingensmith – President, PPL Global and PPL Energy Services

David G. DeCampli – President, PPL Energy Supply

Gregory N. Dudkin – President, PPL Electric Utilities

Victor A. Staffieri – Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, LG&E and KU Energy


Paul Patterson – Glenrock Associates LLC

Justin McCann – S&P Capital IQ

Paul T. Ridzon – KeyBanc Capital Markets

Julien Dumoulin-Smith – UBS

Jonathan Arnold – Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.

Leslie B. Rich – JPMorgan Asset Management, Inc.

Andrew Bischof – Morningstar Research

Michael J. Lapides – Goldman Sachs & Co.

Brian J. Russo – Ladenburg Thalmann Securities

Steve Fleishman – Bank of America

Brian James Chin – Citigroup Global Markets

Greg Gordon – International Strategy & Investment Group, Inc.

Raymond M. Leung – Goldman Sachs & Co.

Anthony C. Crowdell – Jefferies & Co., Inc.

Ashar Khan – Visium Asset Management LP

Reza Hitucki – Decade Capital Management LLC



Good morning. My name is Melissa, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the PPL Corporation Second Quarter Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers’ remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) Thank you.

Mr. Joe Bergstein, Vice President, Director of Investor Relations, you may begin your conference.

Joseph P. Bergstein

Thank you. Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining PPL conference call on second quarter results and our general business outlook. We are providing slides of this presentation on our website at www.pplweb.com.

Any statements made in this presentation about future operating results or other future events are forward-looking statements under the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from such forward-looking statements. A discussion of factors that could cause actual results or events to vary is contained in the appendix of this presentation and in the company’s SEC filings.

At this time, I’d like to turn the call over to Bill Spence, PPL’s Chairman, President and CEO.

William H. Spence

Thanks, Joe, and good morning, everyone. We appreciate your participation in this morning’s call. I’m joined on the call this morning by Paul Farr, PPL’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Also joining us for the Q&A session are the Presidents of all business segments; Vic Staffieri, President and CEO of LG&EKU, our Kentucky Regulated business; Rick Klingensmith, President of PPL Global, who has responsibility for UK regulated operations and our Energy Services businesses; Greg Dudkin, President of PPL Electric Utilities, our Pennsylvania Regulated segment; and Dave DeCampli, President of our competitive market Supply segment.

To get started today, I have an overview of our second quarter results and a few operational highlights, then Paul will provide more details on our segment performance in the quarter and following his remarks we will turn to your questions.

Today we announced the second quarter reported earnings of $0.46 per share up from $0.35 in the same quarter a year ago. Earnings from ongoing operations for the quarter were $0.51 per share compared with $0.45 per share in the same period last year.

For the first six months of the year, our reported earnings were $1.39 per share, up from $1.13 per share in the first six months of 2011. Ongoing earnings were $1.21 a share for the first half of the year versus $1.26 per share in the same period a year ago.

Our second quarter earnings from ongoing operations include $0.02 per share dilution from the common stock issued and April 2011 financed acquisition of the Midlands utilizes in the UK. For the first six months, dilution amounted to $0.13 per share. Strong results from our UK operations were a major drag from the improvement in both ongoing and reported earnings in the second quarter.

Strong earnings from the UK operations and the ability of our supply group to effectively manage unplanned outage challenges at our Susquehanna nuclear plant has put us solidly on course to achieve our 2012 earnings forecast. We are reaffirming our forecast of $2.15 to $2.45 per share in earnings from ongoing operations.

Before we join for a more detailed discussion of our financial results, I’ll provide a brief operational overview for the quarter. As I mentioned on previous call, our management team in the UK has dramatically improved the customer performance of our Midlands utility.

I’m pleased to tell you that we recently – that all four of our distribution companies have now been ordered the Customer Service Excellence Standard, the highest customer service honor in the UK. This is the first time for our Midlands companies and the 20 th year for our legacy South West [and South Wales] to receive the award. As we continue to see improved performance related to the number and duration of outages and regulatory metrics. This performance improvement is detailed to you in the appendix.

Turning to the domestic operations, PPL’s electric delivery operation in Pennsylvania once again has ranked highest among large electric utilities in the Eastern United States for residential customer satisfaction in a survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates. The award is the company’s 18 th overall since J.D. Power and Associates began studying customer satisfaction among electric utilities. Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas and Electric were part of the J.D. Power report on midsize utilities in the Midwest Region and also had strong customer satisfaction standards.

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