Portland General Electric Company (POR)

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Portland General Electric Company (POR)

Q3 2012 Earnings Call

November 08, 2012, 11:00 am ET


Bill Valach - Director, Investor Relations

Jim Piro - President & CEO

Maria Pope - SVP & CFO


Andrew Weisel - Macquarie Capital

Neil Mehta - Goldman Sachs

Lauren Duke - Deutsche Bank

Brian Russo - Ladenburg Thalmann

Sarah Akers - Wells Fargo

Mike Bates - D.A. Davidson

Mark Barnett - Morningstar



Please standby, we are about to begin. Good morning everyone. And welcome to Portland General Electric Company’s Third Quarter 2012 Earnings Results Conference Call. Today is Thursday, November 08, 2012. This call is being recorded and as such all lines have been placed on-mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers’ remarks, there will be a question-and-answer period. (Operator Instructions)

For opening remarks, I would like to turn the conference call over to Portland General Electric’s Director of Investor Relations, Mr. Bill Valach. Please go ahead, sir.

Bill Valach

Thank you, Brian, and good morning, everyone. I am pleased that you’re able to join us today. Before we begin our discussion this morning, I would like to point out that we have prepared a PowerPoint presentation to supplement our discussion today and we’ll be referencing slides throughout the call. For those of you accessing the call over the phone, you can access those slides on our website at portlandgeneral.com.

Now referring to slide number two, I would like to make our customary statements regarding Portland General Electric’s written and oral disclosures and commentary. There will be statements in this call that are not based on historical facts and as such constitute forward-looking statements under current law. These statements are subject to factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements made today.

For a description of some of the factors that may occur that could cause such differences, the company requests that you read our most recent Form 10-K and Form 10-Qs. The Form 10-Q for the third quarter 2012 is available on our website at portlandgeneral.com. The company undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, and this Safe Harbor statement should be incorporated as part of any transcript of this call. Portland General Electric’s third quarter earnings were released before the market opened today and the release is available at portlandgeneral.com.

Referring to slide three, leading our discussion today are Jim Piro, President and CEO and Maria Pope, Senior Vice President of Finance, CFO and Treasurer. Jim will begin today’s presentation by providing a general overview of the quarter’s results and our strategic capital projects. Then Maria will provide more detail around the quarterly results and following our prepared remarks, we will then open the lines up for your questions.

And it’s my pleasure to turn the call over to Jim.

Jim Piro

Thanks Bill. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us. Welcome to Portland General Electric’s third quarter 2012 earnings call. As slide four shows, PGE’s third quarter net income was $38 million or $0.50 per share. We are reaffirming our 2012 earnings guidance of $1.85 to $2 per share and will provide guidance for 2013 on next quarter’s call.

As you can see on slide five, today, I’ll give you an update on Oregon’s economy and discuss operational excellence, as well as the progress we’re making on our strategic initiatives. Then Maria will provide a financial update detailing PGE’s third quarter results, liquidity and our outlook for the remainder of the year.

Now let’s move to slide six for the economic outlook in our operating area. Oregon continues to transition from a natural resource commodity manufacturing economy to one that is more diversified. Our operating area has seen continued growth in high tech, most clearly with Intel’s D1X fab, the largest in the world which Intel recently announced would double in size. In addition, four data centers and a solar manufacturer have located here in the past two years. We have also seen significant growth in parts manufacturing and healthcare sector.

The State’s unemployment rates continues to decline, dropping to 8.7% in September from 9.5% a year ago. The unemployment rate in our operating area is averaging 7.6%, down from 8.3% last year. We have continued to see customer growth of about 0.5% annually since 2009. Since this time last year, we have added 4,500 customers. So far this year, our weather adjusted energy deliveries are up about 0.5% over 2011 weather adjusted levels, driven primarily by the industrial sector. We expect to maintain that 0.5% growth for the full-year.

Now on to slide seven for operational excellence. We continue to deliver excellent operating performance company-wide. Our generating plant availability continues to be in the top quartile and has exceeded our expectations for the year. Our distribution, reliability metrics, which measure the frequency and duration of the customer outages are strong.

This performance is a key component that influences our customer satisfaction. We are the number one investor on utility in the nation for residential customer satisfaction and in the top [best of] for business customer satisfaction in JD Power & Associates 2012 Electric Utility Satisfaction Study. We are also ranked second nationally for key customer satisfaction by TQS Research Incorporated.

In addition, we are making good progress on our continuous improvement projects, aiming at transforming our operations to be more efficient and effective. I am proud of our employee’s hard work and dedication to customer service, outstanding system reliability and cost efficiency and effectiveness efforts.

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