OGE Energy Corporation (OGE)

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OGE Energy Corp. (OGE)

Q4 2011 Earnings Call

February 16, 2012 9:00 a.m. ET

Executives

Peter Delaney - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Sean Trauschke - Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Todd Tidwell - Director of Investor Relations

Keith Mitchell - President, Enogex

Analysts

Ashar Khan - Visium Asset Management

Anthony Crowdell - Jefferies & Company

Greg Reiss - Catapult Capital Management

Brian Russo - Ladenburg Thalmann

Andrew Bischof - Morningstar

Stephen Huang - Carlson Capital

Craig Shere - Tuohy Brothers

James Dobson - Wunderlich Securities

Presentation

Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the OGE Energy Corp. Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call hosted by Todd Tidwell. My name Mamod and I am the event coordinator today. During the presentation your lines will remain on listen-only. (Operator Instructions) I would like to advise all parties that this conference is being recorded. And now, I would like to hand the call over to Todd Tidwell. Over to you sir.

Todd Tidwell

Thank you and good morning, everyone, and welcome to OGE Energy Corp’s fourth quarter 2011 earnings call. I am Todd Tidwell, Director of Investor Relations, and with me today I have Pete Delaney, Chairman, President and CEO of OGE Energy Corp.; Sean Trauschke, Vice President and CFO of OGE Energy Corp.; and several other members of the management team to address any questions that you may have.

In terms of the call today, we will first hear from Pete, followed by an explanation from Sean of fourth quarter and the year ending 2011 results. And finally, as always, we will answer your questions. Historically, we have provide earnings guidance for the current year on the fourth quarter call. However, due to the Oklahoma rate case we are going to wait until we receive the final commission order before releasing OGE’s consolidated 2012 guidance. But we will provide Enogex’s 2012 guidance. We expect the final Oklahoma rate orders sometime in March and we will provide consolidated guidance at that time.

I would like to remind you that this conference is begin webcast and you may follow along on our website at oge.com. In addition, the conference call and the accompanying slides will be archived following the call on that same website. Before we begin the presentation, I would like to direct your attention to the safe-harbor statement regarding forward-looking statements. This is an SEC requirement for financial statements, and simply states that we cannot guarantee forward-looking financial results but this is our best estimate to date.

In addition, there is a Regulation G reconciliation for ongoing 2010 earnings results in the appendix along with projected capital expenditure. The Enogex processing supplement for 2012 has also been posted on our website under the investor relations tab. I will now turn the call over to Pete Delaney for this opening comments. Pete?

Peter Delaney

Thank you, Todd. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to our call. For 2011, we reported earnings of $3.45 a share, compared to ongoing earnings per share of $3.10 in 2010. As you know much of the increase in earnings was driven by record summer heat and in service territory. It was the year of operational accomplishments and a year of record investment in our businesses amounting to $1.4 billion. In addition to managing through the record summer heat, we made great progress on key projects with the 228-megawatt Crossroads wind farm and the 200 million a day South Canadian processing facility, now complete and fully operational.

Our electric transmission and smart grid project have advanced on schedule as well. And we are very pleased to have been recognized as the 2011 electric utility of the year by electric light and power, capping a year of many accomplishments. Enogex executed on its organic growth projects securing several large, long-term acreage dedications and completed the Cordillera midstream acquisition that positions us for continued growth around what is currently one of the most economic natural gas plays, the Granite Wash.

Several of these initiatives undertaken this past year help position us to deliver our long-term earnings growth target, and I will spend some time talking about them. The brevity of my 2011 review today does not reflect a lack of accomplishment or appreciation for the excellent work by our members in 2011 or rather the forward-looking nature of this call. As always, the commodity cycle moves through its paces and the operating environment continually changes around us. Some favorable some not. Requiring us to shift our tactics but not our long-term strategy. I am confident in this management team’s ability to manage our well-positioned portfolio of businesses to continue to produce earnings growth and value for shareholders.

At the utility, an important open items remains the rate case filed last summer. The hearings are complete and we are awaiting ALJ recommendation which we hope will be available in the coming days. As you know we requested a rate increase of $73 million predicated on by plant investment and operating expenses to maintain a high reliability and service standards our customers currently enjoy. The commission staff, attorney general’s office and others recommend a rate decrease. While the ALJ recommendation is not binding on the Oklahoma commissioners, we believe it does influence their decision making. An order is expected in March.

As you may know we have had some changes at the commission. We have a new Commissioner, Patrice Douglas, appointed by the Governor to replace Jeff Cloud, who resigned to pursue a career in private enterprise. This fall both Commissioner Douglas and Commissioner Anthony will stand for re-election.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com