Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PEG)

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Public Service Enterprise Group (PEG)

Q4 2010 Earnings Call

February 22, 2011 11:00 am ET


Ralph Izzo - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, President, Chairman of Executive Committee, Chairman of PSEG Power LLC, Chairman of Public Service Electric & Gas Company, Chief Executive Officer of PSEG Power LLC and Chief Executive Officer of Public Service Electric & Gas Company

Caroline Dorsa - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President

Kathleen Lally - Vice President of Investor Relations


Michael Lapides - Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Dan Eggers - Crédit Suisse AG

Paul Fremont - Jefferies & Company, Inc.

Paul Patterson - Glenrock Associates

Jonathan Arnold - Deutsche Bank AG

Ashar Khan - SAC Capital

Julien Dumoulin-Smith - UBS Investment Bank

Leslie Rich - Columbia Management



Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. My name is Kanisha, and I will be your event operator today. I'd like to welcome everyone to today's conference, Public Service Enterprise Group Fourth Quarter 2010 Earnings Conference Call and Webcast. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded, Tuesday, February 22, 2011, and will be available for telephone replay beginning at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time today, until 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time on March 1, 2011. It will also be available as an audio webcast on PSEG's corporate website at

I would now like to turn the conference over to Kathleen Lally. Please go ahead.

Kathleen Lally

Thank you, Kanisha, good morning. Good morning everyone who is on the phone call. We appreciate you participating in our call this morning. As you are aware, we did release our fourth quarter and full year 2010 earnings statements earlier today. And as mentioned, the release and attachments are posted on our website under the Investors section. We also posted a series of slides that detail operating results by company for the quarter. Our 10-K for the period ended December 31, 2010, is expected to be filed later this week.

I'm not going to read the full disclaimer statement, but I do ask that you read all of those comments contained in our slides and on our website. The disclaimer statement regards forward-looking statements, detailing the number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from forward-looking statements made therein. And although we may elect to update forward-looking statements from time to time, we specifically disclaim any obligation to do so, even if our estimate changes unless required by applicable securities laws.

We also present a commentary with regard to the difference between operating earnings and net income reported in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States. PSEG believes that the non-GAAP financial measure of operating earnings provides a consistent and comparable measure of performance of metrics to help shareholders understand performance strengths.

I would now like to turn the call over to Ralph Izzo, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Public Service Enterprise Group. Joining Ralph on the call is Caroline Dorsa, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

At the conclusion of their remarks, there will be time for your questions. I'm going to ask that you limit yourself to one question and one followup. And we hope to have enough time for all of your questions. Thank you.

Ralph Izzo

Thank you, Kathleen, and thanks, everyone, for joining us today on this call. Earlier this morning, we reported operating earnings for the fourth quarter of $0.60 per share, which resulted in operating earnings of $3.12 per share for 2010. I want to remind you that the results for 2010 reflect the movement of the Texas generating assets to discontinued operations. If we had left Texas in, our operating earnings would've been $3.15.

We were able to achieve earnings within our guidance range for the year despite very difficult market conditions. Each year, our employees put a great deal of effort into meeting the objectives we established regarding the needs of our customers and shareowners. We are indebted to PSEG's workforce. We would not be able to achieve our financial and operational goals without their daily commitment.

It is with their hard work that helped 2010 become a year of significant accomplishment despite the challenges of the marketplace. I want to take a few moments to review these accomplishments with you.

At Power, 2010 represented a year of record output from our fleet with an increase in generation of 8.7%. We completed installation of the back-end technology at our New Jersey coal stations. These upgrades support their operation under more stringent environmental rules.

We also committed to invest in the new peaking capacity in northern New Jersey, as well as initiated work on some nuclear upgrades. Power's Hope Creek nuclear station achieved a 100 INPO rating. This is the result of the investment in people, processes and equipment we have made to lift our nuclear program to world-class levels.

Power announced that it has entered into contracts for the sale of its two Texas gas-fired combined-cycle generating units. The sales are expected to close in late March or early April. But our accomplishments were not limited to PSEG Power. PSE&G won its ninth consecutive Reliability One Award as the most reliable electric utility in its region.

PSE&G's settlement of its electric and gas rate issues in mid-2010, while not all that we wanted, allowed it to earn more reasonable returns for the year and will help support its long-term rate-based growth of 9% per year.

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