Black Hills Corporation (BKH)

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Black Hills Corporation (BKH)

Q2 2008 Earnings Call Transcript

August 12, 2008 11:00 am ET


Jason Ketchum – Director, IR

David Emery – Chairman, President and CEO

Tony Cleberg – EVP and CFO


Lasan Johong – RBC Capital Markets

Gordon Howald – Calyon

Mike Worms – BMO

James Bellessa – D. A. Davidson

Oliver King – Zimmer Lucas



Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the Black Hills Corporation quarterly earnings call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we will conduct a question-and-answer session. Instructions will be given at that time. (Operator instructions) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over Investor Relations, Mr. Jason Ketchum. Please go ahead.

Jason Ketchum

Thank you, operator. Good morning and welcome to Black Hills second quarter 2008 earnings call. Before we get into the presentation, I would like to refer you to slide two, the forward-looking statements. This presentation includes forward-looking statements as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. We make these forward-looking statements in reliance on the Safe Harbor protections provided under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this presentation that address activities, events or developments that we expect, believe or anticipate will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions which we believe are reasonable based on current expectations and projections about future events and industry conditions and trends affecting our business. However, whether actual results and developments will conform to our expectations and predictions is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that, among other things, could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including the risk factors described in Item 1A, Part I of our 2007 Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC, Item 1A, Part II of our June 30, 2008 Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, and other reports that we file with the SEC from time to time, and the following.

Our ability to obtain adequate cost recovery for our utility operations through regulatory proceedings; to receive favorable rulings in periodic applications to recover costs for fuel, transmission and purchased power in our regulated utilities, and our ability to add power generation assets into our regulatory rate base; our ability to successfully integrate and profitably operate any recent acquisitions; the amount and timing of capital deployment in new investment opportunities or for the repurchase of debt or stock; our ability to obtain beneficial income tax treatment to defer gains associated with asset dispositions; our ability to successfully maintain or improve our corporate credit rating; our ability to complete the planning, permitting, construction, start-up and operation of power generating facilities in a cost-effective and timely manner; our ability to meet production targets for our oil and gas properties, which may be dependent upon issuance by federal, state, and tribal governments, or agencies thereof, of drilling, environmental and other permits, and the cost and availability of specialized contractors, work force, and equipment; the timing, volatility and extent of changes in energy-related and commodity prices, interest rates, foreign exchange rates, energy and commodity supply or volume, the cost and availability of transportation of commodities, and demand for our services, all of which can affect our earnings, liquidity position and the underlying value of our assets; changes in or compliance with laws and regulations, particularly those relating to taxation, safety and protection of the environment, renewable portfolio standards, climate change and greenhouse gas legislation; industry and market changes, including the impact of consolidations and changes in competition; the outcome of any ongoing or future litigation or similar disputes and the impact on any such outcome or related settlements; capital market conditions and market uncertainties related to interest rates, which may affect our ability to raise capital on favorable terms; other factors discussed from time to time in our filings with the SEC.

New factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all such factors, or the extent to which any such factor or combination of factors may cause actual results to differ from those contained in any forward-looking statement. We assume no obligation to update publicly any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

With that said, I would now like to turn the call on to our CEO, David Emery.

David Emery

Thank you, Jason. And welcome everybody this morning. I’m glad you could be with us. As Jason said, we do have a presentation posted and I’ll be following that somewhat. If you don’t have it, I don’t think it will pose a problem, but if you do, at least try to refer to the slide number periodically as I go through our information this morning.

With me today is Tony Cleberg, our new Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. We announced Tony’s arrival. He started on July 16th. His appointment as Principal Accounting Officer and Principal Financial Officer is effective today, with him starting after the end of the second quarter didn’t seem appropriate to have him be responsible for second quarter financial results. So I’m finishing those up and then his appointment as our Chief Financial Officer, really responsibility for financial results and other things jointly with me will be effective today. I will ask Tony to say a few words when I’m done here going through our information this morning before I take questions. And then next quarter I’ll anticipate Tony taking a more active role in the earnings call.

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