NextEra Energy, Inc. (NEE)

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NextEra Energy (NEE)

Q1 2011 Earnings Call

April 29, 2011 9:00 am ET


Armando Pimentel - Chief Financial Officer, Executive Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer of Florida Power & Light Company and Executive Vice President of Finance - Florida Power & Light Company

James Robo - President and Chief Operating Officer

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

Rebecca Kujawa -


Paul Patterson - Glenrock Associates

Mark Burnett

James Dobson - Wunderlich Securities Inc.

Steven Fleishman - BofA Merrill Lynch



Good day, everyone, and welcome to the NextEra Energy First Quarter 2011 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. Rebecca Kujawa. Please go ahead, ma'am.

Rebecca Kujawa

Thank you, Casey. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to our first quarter 2011 conference call. Lew Hay, NextEra Energy's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, will provide an overview of NextEra Energy's performance and recent accomplishments. Lew will be followed by Armando Pimentel, our Chief Financial Officer, who will discuss the specifics of our financial results.

Also joining us this morning are Jim Robo, President and Chief Operating Officer of NextEra Energy; Armando Olivera, President and Chief Executive Officer of Florida Power & Light Company; and Mitch Davidson, President and Chief Executive Officer of NextEra Energy Resources, which we will refer to as Energy Resources in this presentation. Following our prepared remarks, 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 our 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 of 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 on the Investors section of our website, 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 Lew Hay. Lew?

Lewis Hay

Okay. Thank you, Rebecca, and good morning, everyone. NextEra Energy delivered solid results in the first quarter of 2011. Although our adjusted earnings per share results were flat to last year's comparable quarter, the results were in line with our expectations. At a time of weak natural gas and power prices, this is particularly noteworthy.

During the quarter, we continued to make considerable investments in Florida's electrical infrastructure, which are helping to keep prices low and reliability high. One of the highlights of the quarter was that at Energy Resources, we signed long-term power purchase agreements for an additional 400 megawatts of wind power since the beginning of the year. In addition, our existing wind fleet generated nearly 1 million megawatt hours of additional power compared to last year's comparable quarter.

As you know, since our last earnings call, the people of Japan experienced one of the worst earthquakes and tsunamis in modern history, including extensive damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Our sympathies go out to the Japanese people as they rebuild their country and their lives. Here in the United States, we continue to watch the events in Japan very closely. There is still much we do not know about the events at the Fukushima plant, and it will undoubtedly take much more time for full analysis to be completed.

With regard to NextEra Energy's nuclear fleet, I can tell you that all of our plants are located outside areas deemed "high hazard" for seismic activity. In addition, 7 of the 8 units we operate are pressurized water reactors with redundant cooling systems and multi-layered containment systems. In fact, our Florida PWRs are battle tested, having maintained plant and public safety through several direct and nearly direct hit by major hurricanes including Andrew, Francis, Jean and Wilma. The one boiling water reactor in our fleet, the Duane Arnold Energy Center in Iowa, is not in an active seismic zone, has a higher flood margin than the Japanese plant and stores backup diesel generator fuel underground in a steel-reinforced concrete structure. Simply put, the drivers for a Japanese-style nuclear event are highly unlikely at any of the NextEra Energy nuclear units.

Going forward, I remain optimistic that nuclear power will play a significant role in our nation's energy mix. For our part, we are on schedule with our existing plan to boost the output of our nuclear fleet through a series of uprates to the nonnuclear components of the plants. Now with regard to new nuclear, our position is unchanged. We still plan to move forward in a stepwise fashion to create the option to build 2 additional units at the site of our Turkey Point plant. Creating the option at this stage is limited to obtaining the necessary federal, state and local approvals.

At Florida Power & Light, we had a strong first quarter. Net income was up roughly 7% over the prior-year comparable quarter, primarily due to increased investment in the business. Those investments have allowed FPL to provide its customers with 99.98% service reliability and to significantly improve the efficiency of our power generation fleet, saving customers hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel costs. During the first quarter, FPL had roughly 30,000 more customers than we had a year earlier. In fact, we've now added customers for 5 quarters in a row. We think this is a positive commentary on the slow but steady improvement in the Florida economy.

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