Operator: Good day, everyone, and welcome to the Duke Energy Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call. Today's call is being recorded.
At this time for opening remarks, I would like to turn the call over to Mr. Bill Currens. Please go ahead, sir.
Bill Currens - IR: Thank you, Kelly. Good morning everyone, and welcome to Duke Energy's Fourth Quarter and Year End 2011 Earnings Review. Leading our discussion today are Jim Rogers, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Lynn Good, Group Executive and Chief Financial Officer.
Today's discussion will include forward-looking information and the use of non-GAAP financial measures. This forward-looking information is based on Duke Energy as a standalone company, as regulatory approvals for our merger with Progress Energy are still pending. You should refer to the information in our 2010 10-K and other SEC filings concerning factors that could cause future results to differ from this forward-looking information. A reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures can be found on our website and in today's materials. Note that the appendix to today's presentation materials includes additional disclosures to help you analyze the company's performance as well as our 2012 earnings guidance assumptions.
In today's call Jim and Lynn will review our fourth quarter and year-end earnings and provide you with our 2012 earning guidance and related assumptions. We will also update you on our strategic initiatives, including our pending merger with Progress Energy. Additionally, we will highlight recent regulatory outcomes and our key priorities for 2012. After the prepared remarks, Jim and Lynn will take your questions.
With that, I'll turn the call over to Jim Rogers.
James E. Rogers - Chairman, President and CEO: Thank you, Bill. Good morning, everyone, and thank you all for joining us today. We appreciate your interest and investment in Duke Energy. We are extremely pleased with our financial and operational performance during 2011. Even though we faced some challenges, it was a year in which we continue to deliver on our commitments. Let me highlight a few of our accomplishments.
From a financial perspective, we grew earnings ending the year with adjusted diluted earnings per share of $1.46, which is $0.03 higher than our 2010 results. Considering that extremely favorable weather contributed about $0.13 to the prior year, our 2011 performance is truly exceptional. These results exceeded both our original and revised guidance range.
For the year, earnings from our ongoing modernization program and strong performance from our international business helped offset less favorable weather, significant storm restoration cost, and the annualized effect of customer switching in Ohio. Continuing our commitment to increase the dividend, we grew our quarterly dividend by about 2%. Our dividend is supported by strong regulated earnings base, and we target a long-term payout ratio of 65% to 70% of adjusted diluted earnings per share. We continue to finance our major construction projects at low interest rates and completed a new Master Credit Facility supporting our liquidity.