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Alliant Energy Corporation (LNT)

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Alliant Energy Corporation (LNT)

Q4 2018 Results Earnings Conference Call

February 22, 2019, 10:00 AM ET

Company Participants

Susan Gille - Investor Relations, Manager, Alliant Energy

Patricia Kampling - Chairman & CEO

John Larsen - President, COO

Robert Durian - SVP, CFO & Treasurer

Conference Call Participants

Nick Campanella - Bank of America

Andrew Weisel - Scotia Howard

Angie Storozynski - Macquarie

Presentation

Operator

Thank you for holding, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Alliant Energy's Year-End 2018 Earnings Conference Call. At this time all lines are in a listen-only mode. Today's conference call is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the call over to your host, Susan Gille, Investor Relations Manager at Alliant Energy.

Susan Gille

Good morning. I would like to thank all of you on the call and the webcast for joining us today. We appreciate your participation. With me here today are Pat Kampling, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; John Larsen, President and Chief Operating Officer; and Robert Durian, Senior Vice President and CFO; as well as other members of the senior management team. Following prepared remarks by Pat, John and Robert, we will have time to take questions from the investment community.

We issued a news release last night announcing Alliant Energy's year end and fourth quarter financial results, and we affirmed the consolidated 2018 earnings guidance issued in November 2018. This release as well as supplemental slides that will be referenced during today's call are available on the Investor page of our website at www.alliantenergy.com.

Before we begin, I need to remind you that the remarks we make on this call and our answers to your questions include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks that could cause actual results to be materially different. Those risks include, among others, matters discussed in Alliant Energy's press release issued last night and in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We disclaim any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

In addition, this presentation contains references to non-GAAP financial measures. The reconciliation between non-GAAP and GAAP measures are provided in our earnings release and our 10-K, which is available on our website at www.alliantenergy.com.

At this point, I'll turn the call over to Pat.

Patricia Kampling

Thanks, Sue. Good morning, and thank you for joining us today. 2018 was another excellent year for our company and I'm happy to share our financial results with you today.

Our 2018 financial results did benefit from higher sales due to more extreme temperatures than normal. Our non-GAAP earnings per share of $2.17 include a $0.06 net benefit from temperatures. When we normalize for temperature, our adjusted earnings per share of $2.11 is 6% above last year as shown on slide two.

2018 was the fifth year in a row that we achieved at least 5% to 7% earnings per share growth and increased our dividend by at least 6%. I am also reaffirming our 2019 earnings guidance midpoint of $2.24 per share and our long-term earnings growth guidance of 5% to 7% re-based off our 2018 temperate normalized results.

Our long-term growth guidance through 2022 is supported by our capital expenditure plans, modest sales growth, constructive regulatory outcomes and assumes normal temperatures.

Now on March 1st, we plan to file our first future test year of rate reviews in Iowa. For electric customers a 2018 test year will be used for interim rates and a 2020 future test year for final rates. For gas customers, they will be based only on the 2020 future test year. Under Iowa statutes, rate reviews must generally be decided within 10 months. Therefore we expect final orders in both the electric and gas reviews by year end.

As I shared with you previously, the electric rate review will include recovery of our significant investments in wind energy, enhancements to our distribution network and upgrades to customer service technologies.

Interim rates based on a 2018 test your will also include known and measurable rate base additions that occur by the end of the first quarter. Since the English Farms and Upland Prairie Wind Farms are expected to be in service in late March, interim electric rates will be effective on April 1st so those projects can be included.

Customers will receive the benefits of reduced fuel costs and PTCs from the windfarms concurrent with the implementation of interim rate.

We will also be requesting modifications to simplify our rates and to reduce the huge variance in summer and winter pricing that has frustrated our customers for decades. We will also be proposing new product offerings for customers interested in partnering with us and their renewable energy efforts.

And we are requesting a renewable energy rider which would allow recovery of new investments in renewable energy when they are placed in service if the project has already received advanced rate making approval.

While the base rate increase and the benefits from lower fuel costs and PTCs will vary by customer class, the overall net impact on electric customer bills will be in the low to mid single digits. Further details will be available after the filing is made next week.

I must acknowledge that our financial and operational results are achieved through the hard work and dedication of my served employees. These employees proudly serve customers each and every day and safely restore service no matter the conditions.

This past year brought many challenging days, including dealing with major flooding, blizzards, ice storms, tornadoes and extreme temperatures. And during the recent polar vortex, I am pleased to report that our systems held up well, and our employees were able to maintain gas and electric system integrity and reliability.

Read the rest of this transcript on seekingalpha.com