Ameren Corporation (AEE)

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Ameren Corporation (AEE)

Q3 2012 Results Earnings Call

November 9, 2012 10:00 AM ET


Doug Fischer - Director, Investor Relations

Tom Voss - Chairman, President and CEO

Marty Lyons - Senior Vice President and CFO

Warner Baxter - Chairman, President and CEO, Ameren-UE


Steven Byrd - Morgan Stanley

Paul Patterson - Glenrock Associates

Julien Dumoulin-Smith - UBS

Michael Lapides - Goldman Sachs

Alex Tai - Standard General

Ashar Khan - Visium



Greetings. And welcome to the Ameren Corporation’s Third Quarter 2012 Earnings Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. A brief question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation. (Operator Instructions)

As a reminder, this is conference is being recorded. It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Doug Fischer, Director of IR for Ameren Corporation. Thank you, Mr. Fischer. You may now begin.

Doug Fischer

Thank you and good morning. I’m Doug Fischer, Director of Investor Relations for Ameren Corporation. On the call with me today are Tom Voss, our Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer; Marty Lyons, our Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and other members of the Ameren management team.

Before we begin, let me cover a few administrative details. This call is being broadcast live on the internet and the webcast will be available for one year on our website at

Further, this call contains time sensitive data that is accurate only as of the date of today’s live broadcast and redistribution of this broadcast is prohibited.

To assist with our call this morning, we have posted a presentation on our website that will be referenced by our speakers. To access this presentation, please look in the Investors section of our website under Webcasts and Presentations, and follow the appropriate link.

Turning to page two of the presentation, I need to inform you that comments made during this conference call may contain statements that are commonly referred to as forward-looking statements. Such statements include those about future expectations, beliefs, plans, strategies, objectives, events, conditions and financial performance.

We caution you that various factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated and described in the forward-looking statements. For additional information concerning these factors, please read the forward-looking statement section in the news release we issued today and the forward-looking statements and risk factor sections in our filings with the SEC.

Tom will begin this call with an overview of third quarter 2012 earnings and 2012 guidance, followed by a discussion of recent regulatory and business developments. Marty will follow with more detailed discussions of third quarter 2012 financial results and regulatory and other financial matters. We will then open the call for your questions.

Here is Tom, who will start on page three of the presentation.

Tom Voss

Thanks, Doug. Good morning and thank you for joining us. Before I discuss our earnings, I would like to acknowledge that terrible impact Hurricane Sandy has had on our fellow citizens in the Northeast. The storm has reminded us again, how the forces of Mother Nature can change lives. Sandy will no doubt go down as one of the worst storms ever to hit our country.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have lost love ones from this devastating storm and also to those effected in so many other ways by the storm including those whose homes and businesses has suffered severe damage and loss power.

At the request of Public Service Electric and Gas of New Jersey, Ameren Missouri and Ameren Illinois dispatched crews to respond to the storm even before hit the region, so that our teams would be in position to restore power as soon as possible.

Currently, there are more than 650 Ameren electric and gas employees and Ameren contractors, nearly 250 pieces of heavy equipment deployed in New Jersey. I want to personally thank all of the Ameren personnel who are working long hours to restore power in the Northeast.

Now I would like to turn to a discussion of our earnings and update you on other important matters. Today we announced third quarter 2012 core earnings of $1.33 per share, compared to third quarter 2011 core earnings of $1.57 per share.

Third quarter was solid from an operations perspective with our system and people performing very well under extended severe weather conditions. Overall, earnings were in line with our expectations despite a challenging Illinois electric delivery rate order.

The decrease in third quarter 2012 core earnings compared to third quarter 2011 core earnings reflect a lower results from both our Regulated Utility and Merchant Generation businesses.

Ameren Illinois’ earnings were negatively impact by the Illinois Commerce Commission September 2012 rate order for electric delivery service and a change in the quarterly distribution of revenues and earnings resulting from formula ratemaking.

In addition, Ameren Missouri’s core earnings declined due to lower electric sales and a higher effective income tax rate, partially offset by the benefit of our 2011 electric rate adjustment. Third quarter 2012 temperatures while warmer than normal or similar to those experience in the third quarter of 2011.

Core earnings from our Merchant Generation business also declined compared to third quarter of 2011, reflecting lower power prices and higher fuel costs. Marty will provide more details on our earnings in a few minutes.

Turning to page four, today we also affirmed that the $2.40 per share midpoint of our 2012 core earnings guidance and narrow the range to that guidance to $2.35 to $2.45 per share from prior range of $2.25 to $2.55 per share. The midpoints of core earnings guidance for our Regulated Utilities and our Merchant Generation business remained $2.30 per share and $0.10 per share, respectively.

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