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OGE Energy Corp OGE
Q4 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 02/27/2013

Operator: Good day, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Fourth Quarter 2012 OGE Energy Earnings Conference Call. My name is Shakwana and I will be your coordinator for today. At this time all participants are in listen-only mode. We will facilitate a question and answer session towards the end of this conference.

I'll now like to turn the presentation over to your host for today's call Mr. Todd Tidwell. Please proceed sir.

Todd Tidwell - IR Director: Thank you, Shakwana. Good morning to everyone and welcome to OGE Energy Corp's fourth quarter 2012 earnings call. I'm Todd Tidwell, Director of Investor Relations, and with me today I have Pete Delaney, Chairman, President and CEO of OGE Energy Corp; Sean Trauschke, Vice President and CFO of OGE Energy Corp; and Keith Mitchell, President of Enogex.

In terms of the call today, we will first hear from Pete, followed by Keith with an update on the midstream business and then an explanation from Sean of fourth quarter and year end results, and finally, as always, we will answer your questions. I would like to remind you that this conference is being webcast and you may follow along on our website at oge.com. In addition, the conference call and accompanying slides will be archived following the call on that same website.

Before we begin the presentation, I would like to direct your attention to the Safe Harbor statement regarding forward-looking statements. This is an SEC requirement for financial statements and simply states that we cannot guarantee forward-looking financial results, but this is our best estimate to-date. In addition, there is a Regulation G reconciliation for EBITDA in the appendix along with our projected capital expenditures.

I will now turn the call over to Pete Delaney for his opening remarks. Pete?

Peter B. Delaney - Chairman and CEO, OGE Energy Corp., OG&E Electric Services and CEO, Enogex LLC: Thank you, Todd. Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us this morning. We are pleased again to announce another year of solid financial performance as you've seen in our release that went out earlier this morning. We reported 2012 earnings of $3.58 per share, compared to $3.45 in 2011. For the quarter we reported earnings of $0.39 per share, compared to $0.37 per share for the prior period.

Higher earnings were driven by solid performance of utility, contributions from new customer growth continues adding approximately $12 million to our margin. This reflects strong economy in our service territory and we expect that growth to continue, in fact we've increased our sales growth estimate for '13 up to 1.5% from our historical norm of around 1%. Margins were also higher due to the completion of our three year Smart Grid deployment at year-end which was on time, and on budget and from the completion of the Crossroads Winds Farm early in the year. Another main contributor was earnings from our investments in transmission driven in part by our FERC order which allows for cash earnings on our transmission construction work in progress.

At Enogex, earnings fell $0.08 from $0.83 per share to $0.75 per share. The decline in earnings was driven by our growth initiatives, which result in high depreciation interest expense accounting for $0.21 of the lower earnings. In addition, the increase of ArcLight's ownership percentage reduced earnings by another $0.05 per share. On a more positive note, OG&E's portion of EBITDA increased 6% for the year as gross margins increased $48 million driven by higher volumes in our gathering and processing businesses, which grew 4% and 24% respectively. These growth rates are in line with our guidance in the third quarter call, as volume growth offset significantly lower NGL prices.

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