Q1 2013 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 04/25/2013

Operator: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for standing by. I will be your conference facilitator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the SCANA Corporation Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer period. As a reminder, this conference call is being recorded on Thursday, April 25, 2013. Anyone who does not consent to the taping may drop off the line.

At this time, I would like to turn the call over to Byron Hinson, Director of Financial Planning and Investor Relations.

Byron Hinson - IR: Thank you and welcome to our earnings conference call, including those who are joining us on the webcast. As you know, earlier today we announced financial results for the first quarter of 2013.

Joining us on the call today are Jimmy Addison, SCANA's Chief Financial Officer; and Steve Byrne, Chief Operating Officer of SCE&G. During the call Jimmy will provide an overview of our financial results and economic development in our service territory. Steve will provide an update on our new nuclear project. After our comments we will respond to your questions. The slides and the earnings release referred to in this call are available at

Before I turn the call over to Jimmy, I would like to remind you that certain statements that may be made during today's call are considered forward-looking statements and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, as shown on Slide 2. The Company does not recognize an obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

Additionally, we may disclose certain non-GAAP measures during this presentation and the required Reg G information can be found on the Investor Relations section of our website.

I'll now turn the call over to Jimmy.

Jimmy Addison - SVP and CFO: Thanks, Bryon and thank you all for joining us today. I'll begin our earnings discussion on Slide 3. Basic earnings in the first quarter of 2013 were $1.13 per share compared to $0.93 per share in the same quarter of 2012. Higher electric and gas margins were primarily offset by increases in CapEx related costs such as depreciation, property taxes, interest expense and share dilution. Our results during the first quarter of 2013 were slightly better than our forecast due primarily to timing of O&M expenses.

As we projected in our February call, we took down the 6.6 million shares under our equity forward during March. For the remainder of the year, we expect comparable basic earnings per share to moderate due to the related dilution.

Now on Slide 4, I'd like to briefly review results for our principal lines of business. South Carolina Electric & Gas Company's first quarter 2013 earnings denoted in blue were up $0.13 compared to 2012, driven largely by base rate increases along with customer growth. These increases were partially offset by increases in interest and depreciation expenses and share dilution.

PSNC Energy's earnings for the first quarter of 2013 shown in red were $0.24 per share consistent with the first quarter of 2012. Increases in margin due to customer growth were partially offset by higher operations and maintenance expenses and depreciation expenses.

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