DTE Energy Co DTE
Q1 2013 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 04/26/2013

Operator: Good day and welcome to the DTE Energy First Quarter 2013 Earnings Release Conference Call. Today's conference is being recorded.

At this time, I'd like to turn the conference over to Mr. David Meador. You may begin.

David E. Meador - EVP and CFO: Thank you, and good morning everybody, and welcome to our first quarter 2013 earnings call. Before we get started, I encourage you to read the Safe Harbor statement on Page 2, including the reference to forward-looking statements.

Turning to Slide 3, with me this morning are Peter Oleksiak, our Senior Vice President of Finance; Dan Brudzynski, our Vice President and Treasurer; and Anastasia Minor, our Director of Investor Relations. I also have members of the management team with me, if needed, during the Q&A session..

Now moving on to Slide 4, as you know we will be providing a full business update and outlook at our analyst meeting in New York next week on May 1st. It’s just a couple of days away. We have several hours scheduled with you with what we believe is very interesting material to take you through. So, this morning if we can I’d like to keep the call focused on the quarter, but as always, I’d be happy to take any of your questions.

Now turning to Slide 5, this is our investment thesis, and it describes how we will provide value to our shareholders. We believe that our discipline growth plans will provide a 5% to 6% long-term earnings per share growth along with an attractive dividend yield. A key enabler to this plan is maintaining a strong balance sheet, which allows us to manage our risk and access capital under favorable terms.

Growth plans at both utilities are robust and we will lay this out for you in next week in more detail. DTE Electric’s growth is largely driven by operational investments, mandated environmental controls, and renewable energy needed to meet Michigan's 10% (RPS) 300. At DTE Gas, the growth is driven by infrastructure investments in cast-iron main replacement and relocation of meters out of the customers’ homes. These important infrastructure investments were the subject of the infrastructure recovery mechanism order that was issued by the Michigan Public Service Commission on April 16th, and I will cover that in an upcoming slide.

The 2008 energy legislation and regulatory structure of Michigan provides constructive environment for us to work within; however, as you know, we don't take this for granted, and it’s incumbent on us during this favorable construct every day. We continue to focus on our system of priorities, including highly engaged employees, distinctive continuous improvement capabilities, and top decile customer satisfaction. That’s another area that we’re going to spend a fair amount of time on next week.

Our non-utility businesses provide with low risk and diversified growth opportunities to complement our regulated utilities.

Now turning to Slide 6, an overview of the first quarter; I’m pleased to announce earnings of $1.34 per share versus $0.91 in the first quarter of 2012. Substantial amount of that increase year-over-year is related to weather and we will be talking about that as we go through this. But it’s a nice start to the year, especially after thinking about last year first quarter and the start we had last year, given the extreme weather conditions last year.

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