Sempra Energy SRE
Q4 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 02/26/2013

Operator: Good day and welcome to the Sempra Energy Fourth Quarter Earnings Results Conference Call. Today's call is being recorded. At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Mr. Rick Vaccari. Please go ahead sir.

Richard A. Vaccari - VP, IR and Treasurer: Good morning and thank you for joining us. I’m Rick Vaccari, Vice President of Investor Relations. This morning we'll be discussing Sempra Energy's fourth quarter and year-end 2012 financial results. A live webcast of this teleconference and slide presentation is available on our website under the Investor section.

With us today in San Diego are several members of our management team, Debbie Reed, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Mark Snell, President; Joe Householder, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Trevor Mihalik, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer.

Before starting, I'd like to remind everyone that we will be discussing forward-looking statements on this call within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those discussed today. The factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially are discussed in the Company's reports filed with the SEC.

It's important to note that all of the earnings per share amounts in our presentation are shown on diluted basis and that we'll be discussing certain non-GAAP financial measures. Please refer to the presentation slides that accompany this call and to Table A in our fourth quarter and year-end 2012 earnings release for a reconciliation to GAAP measures.

I'd also like to note that the forward-looking statements contained in this presentation speak only as of today February 26, 2013, and the Company does not assume any obligation to update or revise any of these forward-looking statements in the future.

With that, I will turn it over to Debbie.

Debra L. Reed - Chairman and CEO: Thanks Rick. On the call today we will give you our guidance for 2013, review our fourth quarter year-end financial results provide an update on regulatory matters at the California utilities, and bring you up to speed on some of our key projects.

Let me begin with the announcement we made last Friday that our Board approved an increase in our annualized dividend to $2.52 per share or an increase of 5%. This increase highlights our commitment to growing the dividend while allowing the Company to achieve top quartile earnings growth. As we noted last year, we are beginning a plan of distributing cash from our international operations back to the U.S., which will result in our payout ratio being higher than our target of 45% to 50% for the next five years or so.

Now let me update you on our guidance for 2013. We now expect to earn between $4.30 and $4.80 per share this year. This guidance includes our estimate of the impact from a final decision in our general rate cases, including a 2012 retroactive adjustment, which will be recorded in 2013. The guidance also includes roughly $0.20 per share related to the benefit from the gain on sale of 50% on the Mesquite gas plant, offset by the roughly $0.30 per share of tax expense related to our repatriation strategy.

Read our Earnings Call Transcript disclaimer.
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