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Alliant Energy Corporation (LNT)

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Alliant Energy Corporation (LNT)

Q1 2019 Earnings Conference Call

May 03, 2019, 10:00 AM ET

Company Participants

Susan Gille - Investor Relations Manager

Pat Kampling - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

John Larsen - President and Chief Operating Officer

Robert Durian - Senior Vice President and CFO

Conference Call Participants

Nick Campanella - Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Andrew Levi - ExodusPoint

Presentation

Operator

Thank you for holding, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Alliant Energy's First Quarter 2019 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. Please go ahead Miss. Gille.

Susan Gille

Good morning. I would like to thank all of you on the call and on 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 first quarter financial results, and affirmed the consolidated 2019 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's 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 the earnings release and our 10-Q which will be available on our website at www.alliantenergy.com.

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

Pat Kampling

Thanks, Su. Good morning and thank you for joining us today. I am pleased to share with you our first quarter 2019 results and highlight progress-to-date on key strategic priorities.

We had a solid start to the year. Our first quarter results were in line with our expectations, with an additional $0.05 per share benefit from higher sales due to colder than normal temperatures. With these results, we are well positioned to deliver on our 2019 earnings guidance range of $2.17 to $2.31 per share.

In the first quarter, we also achieved a major milestone accelerating our progress towards cleaner energy with our English Farms and Upland Prairie wind farms being placed in service in late March.

As you are well aware, we filed our electric and gas rate reviews in Iowa on March 1 with electric interim rates effective on April 1. This was the first filing that included a forward looking test year.

The electric interim rate increase includes recovery of the significant investments in our English Farms and Upland Prairie wind farms, enhancements to our distribution network, and upgrades to customer service technologies. A large portion of this increase has been offset from the benefits of PTCs and reduced fuel costs, from the new wind farms.

As part of the electric filing, we requested a renewable energy rider which would allow recovery of pre-approved investments in renewable energy when they are placed in service. If approved, this rider would reduce the likelihood of a 2021 test year rate review, seeking full recovery of our next group of wind farms.

For our gas customers, the rate review was based only on the 2020 future test year, so interim rates for gas were not necessary. This requested base rate increase will be offset by reduced energy efficiency costs and lower forecasted natural gas prices.

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 you know, the first quarter brought very extreme weather conditions to the Midwest. Our employees did an excellent job maintaining the reliability of our generating stations, wind farms and electric and gas distribution systems during the Polar Vortex.

I would like to thank them for their dedication to excellent customer service, even in the toughest winter conditions.

Now to summarize. Our team is committed to again delivering on our financial and operational goals. We have a great track record and will continue to deliver results as we focus on the following:

Continue to complete large construction projects on time and at or below budget, and in a very sustainable and safe manner. Advancing affordable and cleaner energy through substantial investments in wind, construction of the West Riverside Energy Center, and enhancements to our distribution network. Delivering on 5% to 7% percent earnings growth guidance, and a 60% to 70% percent common dividend payout target. We will continue to manage the company to strike a balance between capital investment, operational and financial discipline, and cost impact to customers.

In closing, I invite you to participate in our second virtual only, annual shareowners' meeting on May 16. We look forward to expanded participation from our shareowners since you can join the meeting from any location, through your computer or telephone. I hope you all can participate.

Read the rest of this transcript on seekingalpha.com