Boardwalk Pipeline Partners L.P. (BWP)

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Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP (BWP)

Q1 2011 Earnings Call

May 02, 2011 9:00 am ET

Executives

Allison McLean - Director of Investor Relations

Arthur Rebell - Chairman of Boardwalk GP LLC

Jamie Buskill - Chief Financial Officer of Boardwalk GP LLC, Senior Vice President of Boardwalk GP LLC and Treasurer of Boardwalk GP LLC

Rolf Gafvert - Chief Executive Officer of Boardwalk GP LLC, President of Boardwalk GP LLC and Director of Boardwalk GP LLC

Analysts

James Jampel - HITE

Bernard Colson - Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.

Elvira Scotto - Crédit Suisse AG

Suzanne Hannigan - Janney Montgomery Scott LLC

S. Ross Payne - Wells Fargo Securities, LLC

Stephen Maresca - Morgan Stanley

Darren Horowitz - Raymond James & Associates, Inc.

Presentation

Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Q1 2011 Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP Earnings Conference Call. My name is Shantale, and I will be your facilitator for today's call. [Operator Instructions] I would now like to turn the presentation over to your host for today's call, Ms. Allison McLean, Director of Investor Relations. Please proceed.

Allison McLean

Thank you, Shantale. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the First Quarter 2011 Earnings Call for Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, LP. I’m Allison McLean, and I’m pleased to be joined today by Mr. Arthur Rebell, our Chairman; Mr. Rolf Gafvert, our CEO; and Mr. Jamie Buskill, our CFO.

If you'd like a copy of the earnings release associated with this call, please download it from our website at www.bwpmlp.com. Following our prepared remarks this morning, we will turn the call over for your questions.

We would like to remind you that this conference call will include the use of statements that are forward-looking in nature. Statements in this earnings call related to matters that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management’s beliefs and assumptions using currently available information and expectations. Actual results achieved by the company may differ materially from those projected in any forward-looking statements. The company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements made during this call.

I’d also like to remind you that during the call today, we may discuss certain non-GAAP financial measures such as EBITDA and distributable cash flow. With regard to such financial measures, please refer to our earnings release for reconciliation to the most comparable GAAP measures.

Now I'd like to turn the call over to Mr. Arthur Rebell.

Arthur Rebell

Thank you, Allison. As we have previously announced, Rolf told us last year that he looked forward to retirement in the near future. As our press announcement this morning noted, Stan Horton is joining Boardwalk today and will be the new CEO. Many of you know of Stan's distinguished record in the energy area and, hopefully, share our enthusiasm and welcome him as he leads Boardwalk into its future growth.

But I do want to take a moment and acknowledge the important role which Rolf has played in bringing Boardwalk from a small private company to one of America's leading public MLPs.

Rolf will remain an adviser to the company, and we know that he will continue to share his perspectives and advice with Stan and all of us. Rolf, thanks for your efforts and good luck.

And I will now turn the call over to Rolf.

Rolf Gafvert

Thank you, Arthur. Good morning, everyone. For the first quarter, we announced a quarterly distribution to unit holders of $0.5225 per unit. I will provide an update on our business, and then Jamie will discuss our financial performance in greater detail.

During the first quarter, a substantial portion of our pipeline capacity was contracted under firm agreements, and we experienced one of the coldest winters in the past 10 years, which helped us overcome overall weak market fundamentals. However, despite favorable weather conditions, declining price spreads between time periods impacted our storage and parking and lending services. For example, for the first quarter this year, parking and lending revenues were down approximately 65% over the comparable quarter in 2010 due to these unfavorable market conditions.

Should weak market fundamentals continue, our interruptible services, including parking and lending services and possibly firm contract renewals could be negatively impacted for the remainder of the year. These industry conditions led us to increase our distribution by $0.0025 per unit this quarter compared to the $0.005 increase in the previous quarter.

Although a relatively small portion of our overall business, net transportational revenues from power generators increased by more than 50% for the quarter compared to the first quarter of last year, as power providers signed up for firm services during the winter season. We are pursuing opportunities to add additional power generation facilities to our system, as operators review options for replacing older coal-fired power generation facilities.

During 2011, we are also adding compression to our system in order to create additional flexibility to better serve growing demand. In order to focus on expansion and acquisition growth opportunities, I am pleased to announce that during the first quarter, Jonathan Nathanson joined Boardwalk to head up our Corporate Development team.

That concludes my overview for Boardwalk. I would now like to turn the call over to Jamie, who will share with you the financial results for the quarter.

Jamie Buskill

Thanks, Rolf, and good morning, everyone. Operating revenues for the first quarter of 2011 were $311 million, an increase of $10 million or 3% from $301 million for the comparable period in 2010. The increase was driven by transportation revenues from our pipeline expansion projects, partially offset by $6 million lower parking and lending revenues due to unfavorable market conditions.

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