XNYS:EE El Paso Electric Company Quarterly Report 10-Q Filing - 3/31/2012

Effective Date 3/31/2012

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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
 _________________________________ 
Form 10-Q
(Mark One)
x
QUARTERLY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
For the quarterly period ended March 31, 2012
OR
o
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
For the transition period from _______ to _______
Commission file number 001-14206
El Paso Electric Company
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Texas
 
74-0607870
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
 
 
 
Stanton Tower, 100 North Stanton, El Paso, Texas
 
79901
(Address of principal executive offices)
 
(Zip Code)
(915) 543-5711
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    YES  x    NO  o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    YES  x    NO  o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
 
 
Large accelerated filer
x
Accelerated filer
o
 
 
 
 
 
 
Non-accelerated filer
o
Smaller reporting company
o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).    YES  o    NO  x
As of April 30, 2012, there were 40,037,222 shares of the Company’s no par value common stock outstanding.

 
 
 
 
 




EL PASO ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY
INDEX TO FORM 10-Q
 
 
 
Page No.
 
Item 1.
 
Item 2.
Item 3.
Item 4.
 
Item 1.
Item 1A.
Item 2.
Item 6.
 


 
(i)
 


PART I. FINANCIAL INFORMATION
 
Item 1.
Financial Statements

EL PASO ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
 
 
March 31,
2012
 
December 31,
2011
 
(Unaudited)
 
 
 
 
 
ASSETS
(In thousands)
 
 
 
Utility plant:
 
 
 
Electric plant in service
$
2,789,419

 
$
2,789,773

Less accumulated depreciation and amortization
(1,117,867
)
 
(1,121,653
)
Net plant in service
1,671,552

 
1,668,120

Construction work in progress
189,393

 
167,394

Nuclear fuel; includes fuel in process of $61,123 and $49,545, respectively
204,793

 
171,433

Less accumulated amortization
(69,560
)
 
(59,882
)
Net nuclear fuel
135,233

 
111,551

Net utility plant
1,996,178

 
1,947,065

Current assets:
 
 
 
Cash and cash equivalents
6,114

 
8,208

Accounts receivable, principally trade, net of allowance for doubtful accounts of $2,712 and $3,015, respectively
64,863

 
76,348

Accumulated deferred income taxes
17,720

 
13,752

Inventories, at cost
41,222

 
40,222

Income taxes receivable
2,214

 
2,269

Undercollection of fuel revenues

 
9,130

Prepayments and other
6,649

 
4,810

Total current assets
138,782

 
154,739

Deferred charges and other assets:
 
 
 
Decommissioning trust funds
178,528

 
167,963

Regulatory assets
102,421

 
101,027

Other
30,580

 
26,057

Total deferred charges and other assets
311,529

 
295,047

Total assets
$
2,446,489

 
$
2,396,851


See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

 
1
 


EL PASO ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS (Continued)
 
 
March 31,
2012
 
December 31,
2011
 
(Unaudited)
 
CAPITALIZATION AND LIABILITIES
(In thousands except for share data)
 
 
 
Capitalization:
 
 
 
Common stock, stated value $1 per share, 100,000,000 shares authorized, 65,424,153 and 65,295,888 shares issued, and 109,369 and 156,185 restricted shares, respectively
$
65,534

 
$
65,452

Capital in excess of stated value
307,504

 
309,777

Retained earnings
881,709

 
887,174

Accumulated other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax
(69,943
)
 
(77,505
)
 
1,184,804

 
1,184,898

Treasury stock, 25,492,919 shares at cost
(424,647
)
 
(424,647
)
Common stock equity
760,157

 
760,251

Long-term debt
816,510

 
816,497

Total capitalization
1,576,667

 
1,576,748

Current liabilities:
 
 
 
Current maturities of long-term debt
33,300

 
33,300

Short-term borrowings under the revolving credit facility
92,570

 
33,379

Accounts payable, principally trade
34,293

 
51,704

Taxes accrued
23,507

 
30,700

Interest accrued
13,197

 
12,123

Overcollection of fuel revenues
4,912

 
2,105

Other
22,614

 
21,921

Total current liabilities
224,393

 
185,232

Deferred credits and other liabilities:
 
 
 
Accumulated deferred income taxes
311,546

 
299,475

Accrued pension liability
125,170

 
129,627

Accrued postretirement benefit liability
101,938

 
100,455

Asset retirement obligation
57,004

 
56,140

Regulatory liabilities
21,205

 
21,049

Other
28,566

 
28,125

Total deferred credits and other liabilities
645,429

 
634,871

Commitments and contingencies

 

Total capitalization and liabilities
$
2,446,489

 
$
2,396,851

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

 
2
 


EL PASO ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(Unaudited)
(In thousands except for share data)
 
 
Three Months Ended
 
Twelve Months Ended
 
March 31,
 
March 31,
 
2012
 
2011
 
2012
 
2011
Operating revenues
$
168,578

 
$
176,112

 
$
910,479

 
$
849,195

Energy expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fuel
39,434

 
42,759

 
220,182

 
193,495

Purchased and interchanged power
12,559

 
18,474

 
69,234

 
81,543

 
51,993

 
61,233

 
289,416

 
275,038

Operating revenues net of energy expenses
116,585

 
114,879

 
621,063

 
574,157

Other operating expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other operations
54,417

 
54,107

 
229,880

 
228,230

Maintenance
15,968

 
12,236

 
65,824

 
54,559

Depreciation and amortization
20,518

 
20,936

 
80,913

 
82,663

Taxes other than income taxes
13,640

 
13,127

 
56,074

 
55,873

 
104,543

 
100,406

 
432,691

 
421,325

Operating income
12,042

 
14,473

 
188,372

 
152,832

Other income (deductions):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Allowance for equity funds used during construction
1,956

 
3,051

 
7,066

 
11,327

Investment and interest income, net
1,776

 
2,385

 
5,055

 
6,602

Miscellaneous non-operating income
70

 
270

 
685

 
1,636

Miscellaneous non-operating deductions
(482
)
 
(715
)
 
(2,954
)
 
(3,562
)
 
3,320

 
4,991

 
9,852

 
16,003

Interest charges (credits):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Interest on long-term debt and revolving credit facility
13,563

 
13,498

 
54,180

 
52,123

Other interest
200

 
297

 
892

 
511

Capitalized interest
(1,369
)
 
(1,256
)
 
(5,290
)
 
(3,515
)
Allowance for borrowed funds used during construction
(1,153
)
 
(1,849
)
 
(4,152
)
 
(6,953
)
 
11,241

 
10,690

 
45,630

 
42,166

Income before income taxes and extraordinary item
4,121

 
8,774

 
152,594

 
126,669

Income tax expense
777

 
1,999

 
52,486

 
41,026

Income before extraordinary item
3,344

 
6,775

 
100,108

 
85,643

Extraordinary gain related to Texas regulatory assets, net of tax

 

 

 
10,286

Net income
$
3,344

 
$
6,775

 
$
100,108

 
$
95,929

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic earnings per share:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Income before extraordinary item
$
0.08

 
$
0.16

 
$
2.45

 
$
1.99

Extraordinary gain related to Texas regulatory assets, net of tax

 

 

 
0.24

Net income
$
0.08

 
$
0.16

 
$
2.45

 
$
2.23

Diluted earnings per share:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Income before extraordinary item
$
0.08

 
$
0.16

 
$
2.43

 
$
1.98

Extraordinary gain related to Texas regulatory assets, net of tax

 

 

 
0.24

Net income
$
0.08

 
$
0.16

 
$
2.43

 
$
2.22

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dividends declared per share of common stock
$
0.22

 
$

 
$
0.88

 
$

Weighted average number of shares outstanding
39,911,032

 
42,308,097

 
40,756,509

 
42,776,922

Weighted average number of shares and dilutive potential shares outstanding
39,999,509

 
42,523,285

 
40,962,007

 
42,964,190

 See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.
 

 
3
 


EL PASO ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE OPERATIONS
(Unaudited)
(In thousands)
 
 
Three Months Ended
 
Twelve Months Ended
 
March 31,
 
March 31,
 
2012
 
2011
 
2012
 
2011
Net income
$
3,344

 
$
6,775

 
$
100,108

 
$
95,929

Other comprehensive income (loss):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unrecognized pension and postretirement benefit costs:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net loss arising during period

 

 
(77,678
)
 
(9,874
)
Prior service benefit

 

 

 
26,605

Reclassification adjustments included in net income for amortization of:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Prior service benefit
(1,443
)
 
(1,455
)
 
(5,800
)
 
(3,509
)
Net loss
3,125

 
1,475

 
8,155

 
3,949

Net unrealized gains (losses) on marketable securities:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net holding gains arising during period
8,158

 
2,173

 
7,555

 
6,415

Reclassification adjustments for net (gains) losses included in net income
(213
)
 
(205
)
 
1,350

 
(114
)
Net losses on cash flow hedges:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Reclassification adjustment for interest expense included in net income
94

 
88

 
367

 
343

Total other comprehensive income (loss) before income taxes
9,721

 
2,076

 
(66,051
)
 
23,815

Income tax benefit (expense) related to items of other comprehensive income (loss):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unrecognized pension and postretirement benefit costs
(555
)
 
(7
)
 
29,586

 
(6,221
)
Net unrealized losses on marketable securities
(1,559
)
 
(360
)
 
(1,762
)
 
(1,226
)
Losses on cash flow hedges
(45
)
 
(33
)
 
(215
)
 
(126
)
Total income tax benefit (expense)
(2,159
)
 
(400
)
 
27,609

 
(7,573
)
Other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax
7,562

 
1,676

 
(38,442
)
 
16,242

Comprehensive income
$
10,906

 
$
8,451

 
$
61,666

 
$
112,171

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

 
4
 


EL PASO ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
(Unaudited)
(In thousands)
 
 
Three Months Ended
 
March 31,
 
2012
 
2011
Cash flows from operating activities:
 
 
 
Net income
$
3,344

 
$
6,775

Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:
 
 
 
Depreciation and amortization of electric plant in service
20,518

 
20,936

Amortization of nuclear fuel
10,297

 
9,243

Deferred income taxes, net
3,974

 
12,291

Allowance for equity funds used during construction
(1,956
)
 
(3,051
)
Other amortization and accretion
2,760

 
7,405

Other operating activities
(403
)
 
(132
)
Change in:
 
 
 
Accounts receivable
11,485

 
1,876

Inventories
(1,000
)
 
(1,888
)
Net overcollection (undercollection) of fuel revenues
11,937

 
(1,193
)
Prepayments and other
(1,839
)
 
(2,303
)
Accounts payable
(12,590
)
 
(6,569
)
Taxes accrued
(7,138
)
 
(8,263
)
Interest accrued
1,074

 
1,075

Other current liabilities
693

 
47

Deferred charges and credits
(6,301
)
 
(13,891
)
Net cash provided by operating activities
34,855

 
22,358

Cash flows from investing activities:
 
 
 
Cash additions to utility property, plant and equipment
(48,164
)
 
(45,388
)
Cash additions to nuclear fuel
(32,725
)
 
(14,228
)
Capitalized interest and AFUDC:
 
 
 
Utility property, plant and equipment
(3,109
)
 
(4,900
)
Nuclear fuel
(1,369
)
 
(1,256
)
Allowance for equity funds used during construction
1,956

 
3,051

Decommissioning trust funds:
 
 
 
Purchases, including funding of $1.1 and $2.1 million, respectively
(21,986
)
 
(17,466
)
Sales and maturities
19,579

 
14,231

Other investing activities
640

 
47

Net cash used for investing activities
(85,178
)
 
(65,909
)
Cash flows from financing activities:
 
 
 
Repurchases of common stock

 
(16,675
)
Dividends paid
(8,809
)
 

Borrowings under the revolving credit facility:
 
 
 
Proceeds
84,384

 
16,778

Payments
(25,193
)
 
(8,531
)
Other financing activities
(2,153
)
 
(300
)
Net cash provided by (used for) financing activities
48,229

 
(8,728
)
Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents
(2,094
)
 
(52,279
)
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period
8,208

 
79,184

Cash and cash equivalents at end of period
$
6,114

 
$
26,905

See accompanying notes to consolidated financial statements.

 
5
 


EL PASO ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
(Unaudited)

A. Principles of Preparation
These condensed consolidated financial statements should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and notes thereto in the Annual Report of El Paso Electric Company on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2011 (the “2011 Form 10-K”). Capitalized terms used in this report and not defined herein have the meaning ascribed for such terms in the 2011 Form 10-K. In the opinion of the Company’s management, the accompanying consolidated financial statements contain all adjustments necessary to present fairly the financial position of the Company at March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011; the results of its operations and comprehensive operations for the three and twelve months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011; and its cash flows for the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011. The results of operations and comprehensive operations and the cash flows for the three months ended March 31, 2012 are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected for the full calendar year.
Pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), certain financial information has been condensed and certain footnote disclosures have been omitted. Such information and disclosures are normally included in financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. Certain prior period amounts have been reclassified to conform to the current period presentation.
Use of Estimates. The preparation of financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
Revenues. Revenues related to the sale of electricity are generally recorded when service is rendered or electricity is delivered to customers. The billing of electricity sales to retail customers is based on the reading of their meters, which occurs on a systematic basis throughout the month. Unbilled revenues are estimated based on monthly generation volumes and by applying an average revenue/kWh to the number of estimated kWhs delivered but not billed. Accounts receivable included accrued unbilled revenues of $15.3 million and $19.6 million at March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively. The Company presents revenues net of sales taxes in its consolidated statements of operations.
Extraordinary Item. As a regulated electric utility, the Company prepares its financial statements in accordance with the FASB guidance for regulated operations. FASB guidance for regulated operations requires the Company to show certain items as assets or liabilities on its balance sheet when the regulator provides assurance that these items will be charged to and collected from its customers or refunded to its customers. In the final order for PUCT Docket No. 37690, the Company was allowed to include the previously expensed loss on reacquired debt associated with the refinancing of first mortgage bonds in 2005 in its calculation of the weighted cost of debt to be recovered from its customers. The Company recorded the impacts of the re-application of FASB guidance for regulated operations to its Texas jurisdiction in 2006 as an extraordinary item. In order to establish this regulatory asset, the Company recorded an extraordinary gain of $10.3 million, net of income tax expense of $5.8 million, pursuant to the final order received from the PUCT, in its statements of operations for the quarter ended September 30, 2010. The regulatory asset will be amortized over the remaining life of the Company’s 6% Senior Notes due in 2035.
 
Supplemental Cash Flow Disclosures (in thousands)
 
 
 
 
Three Months Ended
 
March 31,
 
2012
 
2011
Cash paid for:
 
 
 
Interest on long-term debt and borrowing under the revolving credit facility
$
10,005

 
$
9,763

Income taxes paid (refund)

 
(5,586
)
Non-cash financing activities:
 
 
 
Grants of restricted shares of common stock
785

 
1,989

Issuance of performance shares
1,193

 
565

Acquisition of treasury stock for options exercised

 
500



 
6
 

EL PASO ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
(Unaudited)


B. New Accounting Standards

In June 2011, the FASB issued new guidance to improve the comparability, consistency and transparency of financial reporting and to increase the prominence of items reported in other comprehensive income. The new guidance requires an entity to present the total of comprehensive income either in a single continuous statement of comprehensive income or in two separate but consecutive statements. In both presentations, an entity would have been required to present on the face of the financial statements reclassification adjustments for items that are reclassified from other comprehensive income to net income in the statement(s) where the components of net income and the components of other comprehensive income are presented. Historically, the Company has used the consecutive two-statement approach; however, this new guidance would have required additional disclosure on the Company's statement of operations and related notes. In December 2011, the FASB issued new guidance to defer the effective date for amendments to the presentation of reclassification of items out of accumulated other comprehensive income. Deferring the effective date will allow the FASB time to redeliberate whether to present on the face of the financial statements the effects of reclassifications out of accumulated other comprehensive income on the components of net income and other comprehensive income for all periods presented. While the FASB is considering the operational concerns about the presentation requirements for reclassification adjustments and the needs of financial statement users for additional information about reclassification adjustments, the Company will continue to report reclassifications out of accumulated other comprehensive income consistent with the presentation requirements in effect before the guidance issued in June 2011 until further guidance becomes available. 

C. Regulation
General
The rates and services of the Company are regulated by incorporated municipalities in Texas, the PUCT, the NMPRC, and the FERC. The PUCT and the NMPRC have jurisdiction to review municipal orders, ordinances and utility agreements regarding rates and services within their respective states and over certain other activities of the Company. The FERC has jurisdiction over the Company's wholesale (sales for resale) transactions, transmission services, and compliance with federally-mandated reliability standards. The decisions of the PUCT, NMPRC and the FERC are subject to judicial review.

Texas Regulatory Matters

2009 Texas Retail Rate Case. On December 9, 2009, the Company filed an application with the PUCT for authority to change rates, to reconcile fuel costs, to establish formula-based fuel factors and to establish an energy efficiency cost-recovery factor. This case was assigned PUCT Docket No. 37690. The filing included a base rate increase which was based upon an adjusted test year ended June 30, 2009. On July 30, 2010, the PUCT approved a settlement in the 2009 Texas retail rate case in PUCT Docket No. 37690. The settlement called for an annual non-fuel base rate increase of $17.15 million effective for usage beginning July 1, 2010. The new rate structure resulted in net increases in base rates during the peak summer season of May through October and net decreases in base rates during November through April. This increase was partially offset by the provision that, consistent with a prior rate agreement, effective July 1, 2010, the Company shares 90% of off-system sales margins with customers and retains 10% of such margins. Previously, the Company retained 75% of off-system sales margins. The PUCT also approved the use of a formula-based fuel factor which provides for more timely recovery of fuel costs. The PUCT also approved an energy efficiency cost-recovery factor that includes the recovery of deferred energy efficiency costs over a three-year period.

2012 Texas Retail Rate Case. The Company filed a rate increase request with the PUCT (Docket No. 40094), the City of El Paso, and other Texas cities on February 1, 2012. The rate filing was made in response to a resolution adopted by the El Paso City Council (the "Council") requiring the Company to show cause why its base rates for customers in the El Paso city limits should not be reduced. The rate filing used a historical test year ended September 30, 2011. The filing at the PUCT also included a request to reconcile $356.5 million of fuel expense for the period July 1, 2009 through September 30, 2011. On November 15, 2011, the Council adopted a resolution which established current rates as temporary rates for the Company's customers residing within the city limits of El Paso.

On April 17, 2012, the Council approved the settlement of the Company's 2012 Texas retail rate case and fuel reconciliation in PUCT Docket No. 40094. The settlement reflects discussions with the the PUCT, the City of El Paso and other intervenors in Docket No. 40094. The approval by the Council (i) resolves the local, City of El Paso rate proceeding that commenced with the October 4, 2011 show cause order of the Council, (ii) implements new rates within the city limits of El Paso commencing with bills rendered on and after May 1, 2012, and (iii) rescinds and withdraws the temporary rate order that the Council issued on November 15, 2011.

 
7
 

EL PASO ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
(Unaudited)


For Texas service areas outside of the city limits of El Paso, the settlement was filed with the PUCT on April 19, 2012 and no intervenors are opposing the settlement. On April 26, 2012, the administrative law judges issued an order (i) implementing the settlement rates as temporary rates effective May 1, 2012, and (ii) dismissing the case before the State Office of Administrative Hearings sending the settlement to the PUCT for final approval. While the Company can give no assurance whether the settlement will receive the required approvals, the PUCT has placed this matter on its agenda for May 18, 2012.
Under the terms of the settlement, among other things, the Company has agreed to:
A reduction in its current non-fuel base rates of $15 million annually, with the decrease being allocated primarily to Texas retail commercial and industrial customer classes. The rate decrease will be effective as of May 1, 2012;
New tariffs that will include an Economic Development Rate Rider that provides discounts in the demand charge and is intended to spur new business development in the Company's Texas service area;
Revised depreciation rates for the Company's gas-fired generating units and for transmission and distribution plant that will lower depreciation expense by $4.1 million annually;
Continuation of the 10.125% return on equity for the purpose of calculating the allowance for funds used during construction;
A two-year amortization of rate case expenses, none of which will be included in future regulatory proceedings; and
Palo Verde decommissioning funding of $3.6 million annually on a Texas jurisdictional basis, which will be subject to review and adjustment on a going-forward basis in future proceedings.
As part of the settlement the Company has agreed to withdraw its request to reconcile fuel costs for the period from July 1, 2009 through September 30, 2011. The Company will file a fuel reconciliation request covering the period beginning July 1, 2009 and ending no later than June 30, 2013 by December 31, 2013 or as part of its next rate case, if earlier.     
Fuel and Purchased Power Costs. The Company's actual fuel costs, including purchased power energy costs, are recoverable from its customers. The PUCT has adopted a fuel cost recovery rule (“Texas Fuel Rule”) that allows the Company to seek periodic adjustments to its fixed fuel factor. The Company received approval on July 30, 2010 in PUCT Docket No. 37690, to implement a formula to determine its fuel factor which adjusts natural gas and purchased power to reflect natural gas futures prices. The Company can seek to revise its fixed fuel factor based upon the approved formula at least four months after its last revision except in the month of December. The Texas Fuel Rule requires the Company to request to refund fuel costs in any month when the over-recovery balance exceeds a threshold material amount and it expects fuel costs to continue to be materially over-recovered. The Texas Fuel Rule also permits the Company to seek to surcharge fuel under-recoveries in any month the balance exceeds a threshold material amount and it expects fuel cost recovery to continue to be materially under-recovered. Fuel over and under-recoveries are considered material when they exceed 4% of the previous twelve months' fuel costs. All such fuel revenue and expense activities are subject to periodic final review by the PUCT in fuel reconciliation proceedings.
On April 12, 2012, the Company filed with the PUCT a request to reduce its fixed fuel factor charged to Texas retail customers. The fixed fuel factor is based upon a formula that reflects current costs of fuel for changes in prices for natural gas and the revision reflects recent declines in prices for natural gas. The impact of the reduction in the fuel factor will be a reduction in annual fuel revenues of approximately $30 million. On April 25, 2012, the administrative law judge issued an order approving a new fuel factor effective May 1, 2012.


 
8
 

EL PASO ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
(Unaudited)


The Company has filed the following petitions with the PUCT to refund recent fuel cost over-recoveries, due primarily to fluctuations in natural gas markets and consumption levels. The table summarizes the docket number assigned by the PUCT, the dates the Company filed the petitions and the dates a final order was issued by the PUCT approving the refunds to customers. The fuel cost over-recovery periods represent the months in which the over-recoveries took place and the refund periods represent the billing month(s) in which customers received the refund amounts shown, including interest:
 
Docket
No.
 
Date Filed
 
Date Approved
 
Recovery Period
 
Refund Period
 
Refund
Amount (In Thousands)
38253
 
May 12, 2010
 
July 15, 2010
 
December 2009 – March 2010
 
July – August 2010
 
$
11,100

38802
 
October 20, 2010
 
December 16, 2010
 
April – September 2010
 
December 2010
 
12,800

39159
 
February 18, 2011
 
May 3, 2011
 
October – December 2010
 
April 2011
 
11,800

 
The Company has filed the following petitions with the PUCT to revise its fixed fuel factor pursuant to the fuel factor formula authorized in PUCT Docket No. 37690:
 
Docket
No.
 
Date Filed
 
Date Approved
 
Increase(Decrease) in
Fuel Factor
 
Effective Billing
Month
38895
 
November 23, 2010
 
January 6, 2011
 
(14.7)%
 
January 2011
39599
 
July 15, 2011
 
August 30, 2011
 
9.4%
 
August 2011
40302
 
April 12, 2012
 
April 25, 2012
 
(18.5)%
 
May 2012
 
Application of El Paso Electric Company to Amend its Certificate of Convenience and Necessity ("CCN") for Five Solar Power Generation Projects. On December 9, 2011, the Company filed a petition seeking a CCN to construct five solar powered generation projects, totaling approximately 2.6 MW, at four locations within the City of El Paso and one location in the Town of Van Horn. This case was assigned PUCT Docket No. 39973 and is still pending.
Generation CCN Filing. On May 2, 2012, the Company filed a petition with the PUCT requesting a CCN to construct a new generation facility to be located at a new plant site in far east El Paso. The new facility will initially consist of two 88 MW simple-cycle aeroderivative combustion turbines, which will be powered by natural-gas. The first unit is scheduled to become operational in 2014. This case was assigned PUCT Docket No. 40301.
New Mexico Regulatory Matters
Application for Approval to Recover Regulatory Disincentives and Incentives. On August 31, 2010, the Company filed an application for approval of its proposed rate design methodology to recover regulatory disincentives and incentives associated with the Company’s energy efficiency and load management programs in New Mexico. On March 18, 2011, the Company entered into an uncontested stipulation which would provide for a rate per kWh of energy efficiency savings that would be recovered through the efficient use of energy rider. A hearing on the uncontested stipulation was held on April 26, 2011 and briefs were filed on September 26, 2011. A final order was issued on November 22, 2011 in which the NMPRC did not adopt the unopposed stipulation, but modified the structure of the energy rider to reduce the return to two percent and made the mechanism temporary.  The Company filed a Notice of Appeal with the Supreme Court of the State of New Mexico on January 20, 2012 on the grounds that the NMPRC's decision is arbitrary and without substantial evidence.
Application for Approval of 2011 New and Modified Energy Efficiency Programs. On February 15, 2011, the Company filed its Application for Approval of New and Modified Energy Efficiency Programs for 2011 with the NMPRC. On June 22, 2011, parties to this case entered into a partial stipulation, agreeing on all issues, except for a military base free-ridership issue. On June 24, 2011, the New Mexico Attorney General filed a statement in opposition to the proposed partial stipulation. On January 25, 2012, a hearing examiner issued a recommended decision modifying the stipulation by approving the Energy Efficiency programs and budgets with the exception of the Commercial Lighting Program, approving the adder for 2011 but not for 2012 or 2013 and excluding the Military Research & Development Class from participation in the rate rider and reducing the Company's

 
9
 

EL PASO ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
(Unaudited)


required saving goals accordingly. On February 2, 2012, the Company filed certain exceptions to the recommended decision and requested an interim order related to this matter. The NMPRC issued a final order approving the partial stipulation and rejecting the Company's exceptions on February 21, 2012. On March 5, 2012, the Company filed an unopposed motion to immediately implement the approved programs and to initiate further proceedings to allow the parties to supplement the record to support the stipulated adders for 2012 and 2013. On March 20, 2012 the NMPRC issued an order granting the unopposed motion. On April 4, 2012, the hearing examiner issued a procedural order requiring additional information supporting the stipulated adders and recovery of regulatory disincentives. The Company filed direct testimony on April 25, 2012 in response to the procedural order.
Generation CCN Filing. On May 2, 2012, the Company filed a petition with the NMPRC requesting a CCN to construct a new generation facility to be located at a new plant site in far east El Paso. The new facility will initially consist of two 88 MW simple-cycle aeroderivative combustion turbines, which will be powered by natural-gas. The first unit is scheduled to become operational in 2014. This case was assigned NMPRC Case No. 12-00137-UT.
Revolving Credit Facility and Guarantee of Debt. On October 13, 2011, the Company received final approval from the NMPRC in Case No. 11-00349-UT to amend and restate the Company's $200 million revolving credit facility, which includes an option, subject to lender's approval, to expand the size to $300 million, and to incrementally issue up to $300 million of long-term debt as and when needed. Obtaining the ability to issue up to $300 million of new long-term debt, from time to time, provides the Company with the flexibility to access the debt capital markets when needed and when conditions are favorable.
On November 15, 2011, the Company and Rio Grande Resources Trust ("RGRT") amended and restated the $200 million unsecured RCF with JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., as administrative agent and issuing bank, and Union Bank, N.A., as syndication agent, and various lending banks party thereto. The amended and restated revolving credit facility ("RCF") reduces borrowing costs and extends the maturity from September 2014 to September 2016.

On March 29, 2012, the Company and The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company, N.A., as trustee of the Rio Grande Resources Trust, entered into the Incremental Facility Assumption Agreement (the "Assumption Agreement") related to the RCF discussed above with JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., as administrative agent and issuing bank, Union Bank, N.A., as syndication agent, and various lending banks party thereto. The Assumption Agreement provides for the Company's exercise in full of the accordion feature provided for under the RCF, increasing the aggregate unsecured borrowing available from $200 million to $300 million. In addition, the Assumption Agreement reflects the addition of a new lender under the RCF. No other material modifications were made to the terms and conditions of the RCF.
Federal Regulatory Matters
Transmission Dispute with Tucson Electric Power Company (“TEP”). On August 31, 2011, the FERC issued an order approving the settlement of a long standing transmission dispute between TEP and the Company which became effective November 1, 2011. The settlement reduces TEP’s transmission rights under the Transmission Agreement from 200 MW to 170 MW and TEP and the Company have entered into two new firm transmission agreements under which TEP is purchasing from the Company new transmission service at the Company's applicable tariff rates for a total of 40 MW. Those two new service agreements were entered into and became effective November 1, 2011. Also under the terms of the settlement, TEP made a lump-sum cash payment to the Company of approximately $5.4 million for the period February 1, 2006 through September 30, 2011, including interest income. This adjustment was recorded in the three months ended September 30, 2011. The Company shared with its customers 25% of the transmission revenues earned before July 1, 2010, or approximately $0.7 million, through a credit to Texas fuel recoveries.
Revolving Credit Facility and Guarantee of Debt. On October 13, 2011, the Company received final approval from the FERC in Docket No. ES11-43-000 to amend and restate the Company's $200 million RCF, which includes an option, subject to lender's approval, to expand the size to $300 million, and to incrementally issue up to $300 million of long-term debt as and when needed. Obtaining the ability to issue up to $300 million of new long-term debt provides the Company with the flexibility to access the debt capital markets when needed and when conditions are favorable. The Company has two years in which to issue this newly-authorized long-term debt. As noted above, on November 15, 2011, the RCF was amended and restated and on March 29, 2012, the aggregate unsecured borrowing available under the RCF was increased to $300 million.

 
10
 

EL PASO ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
(Unaudited)



D. Common Stock
Repurchase Program. No shares of common stocks were repurchased during the first quarter of 2012. Details regarding the Company’s stock repurchase program are presented below: 
 
Since 1999
(a)
 
Authorized
Shares
Shares repurchased
25,406,184

 
 
Cost, including commission (in thousands)
$
423,647

 
 
Total remaining shares available for repurchase at March 31, 2012
 
 
393,816

_______________________
(a)
Represents repurchased shares and cost since inception of the stock repurchase program in 1999.
The Company may in the future make purchases of its common stock pursuant to its authorized programs in open market transactions at prevailing prices and may engage in private transactions, where appropriate. The repurchased shares will be available for issuance under employee benefit and stock incentive plans, or may be retired.
Dividend Policy. On March 30, 2012, the Company paid $8.8 million of quarterly dividends to shareholders.  
Basic and Diluted Earnings Per Share. The basic and diluted earnings per share are presented below (in thousands except for share data):
 
Three Months Ended March 31,
 
Twelve Months Ended March 31,
 
2012
 
2011
 
2012
 
2011
Weighted average number of common shares outstanding:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic number of common shares outstanding
39,911,032

 
42,308,097

 
40,756,509

 
42,776,922

Dilutive effect of unvested performance awards
66,201

 
169,426

 
180,851

 
126,051

Dilutive effect of stock options
22,276

 
45,762

 
24,647

 
61,217

Diluted number of common shares outstanding
39,999,509

 
42,523,285

 
40,962,007

 
42,964,190

Basic net income per common share:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net income
$
3,344

 
$
6,775

 
$
100,108

 
$
95,929

Income allocated to participating restricted stock
(24
)
 
(28
)
 
(440
)
 
(391
)
Net income available to common shareholders
$
3,320

 
$
6,747

 
$
99,668

 
$
95,538

Diluted net income per common share:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net income
$
3,344

 
$
6,775

 
$
100,108

 
$
95,929

Income reallocated to participating restricted stock
(24
)
 
(28
)
 
(439
)
 
(390
)
Net income available to common shareholders
$
3,320

 
$
6,747

 
$
99,669

 
$
95,539

Basic net income per common share:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Distributed earnings
$
0.22

 
$

 
$
0.88

 
$

Undistributed earnings
(0.14
)
 
0.16

 
1.57

 
2.23

Basic net income per common share
$
0.08

 
$
0.16

 
$
2.45

 
$
2.23

Diluted net income per common share:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Distributed earnings
$
0.22

 
$

 
$
0.88

 
$

Undistributed earnings
(0.14
)
 
0.16

 
1.55

 
2.22

Diluted net income per common share
$
0.08

 
$
0.16

 
$
2.43

 
$
2.22


 
11
 

EL PASO ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
(Unaudited)


The amount of restricted stock awards, performance shares and stock options excluded from the calculation of the diluted number of common shares outstanding because their effect was antidilutive is presented below:
 
Three Months Ended
 
Twelve Months Ended
 
March 31,
 
March 31,
 
2012
 
2011
 
2012
 
2011
Restricted stock awards
59,800

 
94,076

 
73,084

 
78,792

Performance shares (a)

 

 

 
24,225

Stock options

 

 

 

______________________
(a)
Performance shares were excluded from the computation of diluted earnings per share, as no payouts would have been required based upon performance at the end of the corresponding period. This amount assumes a 100% performance level payout.

E. Long-Term Debt and Financing Obligations

The Company maintains a revolving credit facility (“RCF”) for working capital and general corporate purposes and financing of nuclear fuel through the Rio Grande Resources Trust (“RGRT”). RGRT is the trust through which the Company finances its portion of nuclear fuel for Palo Verde and is consolidated in the Company's financial statements. The RCF has a term ending September 2016. On March 29, 2012, the Company and the Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company, N.A., as trustee of the RGRT, entered into the Incremental Facility Assumption Agreement (the “Assumption Agreement”) related to the RCF with JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., as administrative agent and issuing bank, Union Bank, N.A., as syndication agent, and various lending banks party thereto. The Assumption Agreement provides for the Company's exercise in full of the accordion feature provided for under the RCF, increasing the aggregate unsecured borrowing available from $200 million to $300 million. In addition, the Assumption Agreement reflects the addition of a new lender under the RCF. No other material modifications were made to the terms and conditions of the RCF. The total amount borrowed for nuclear fuel by RGRT was $149.6 million at March 31, 2012, of which $39.6 million had been borrowed under the RCF and $110 million was borrowed through senior notes. Interest costs on borrowings to finance nuclear fuel are accumulated by RGRT and charged to the Company as fuel is consumed and recovered through fuel recovery charges. At March 31, 2012, $53.0 million was outstanding under the RCF for working capital or general corporate purposes.

F. Income Taxes
The Company files income tax returns in the U.S. federal jurisdiction and in the states of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. The Company is no longer subject to tax examination by the taxing authorities in the federal jurisdiction for years prior to 2007 and in the state jurisdictions for years prior to 1998. A deficiency notice relating to the Company’s 1998 through 2003 income tax returns in Arizona contests a pollution control credit, a research and development credit, and the sales and property apportionment factors. The Company is contesting these adjustments.
For the three months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, the Company’s consolidated effective tax rate was 18.9% and 22.8%, respectively. For the twelve months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, the Company's consolidated effective tax rate was 34.4% and 32.8%, respectively. The Company's consolidated effective tax rate for the three and twelve months ended March 31, 2012 differs from the federal statutory tax rate of 35.0% primarily due to the allowance for equity funds used during construction and state income taxes.
G. Commitments, Contingencies and Uncertainties
For a full discussion of commitments and contingencies, see Note K of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in the 2011 Form 10-K. In addition, see Note C above and Notes C and E of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in the 2011 Form 10-K regarding matters related to wholesale power sales contracts and transmission contracts subject to regulation and Palo Verde, including decommissioning, spent fuel storage, disposal of low-level radioactive waste, and liability and insurance matters.
Power Purchase and Sale Contracts
To supplement its own generation and operating reserves, and to meet required renewable portfolio standards, the Company engages in firm power purchase arrangements which may vary in duration and amount based on evaluation of the Company’s

 
12
 

EL PASO ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
(Unaudited)


resource needs, the economics of the transactions, and specific renewable portfolio requirements. For a full discussion of power purchase and sale contracts that the Company has entered into with various counterparties, see Note K of Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in the 2011 Form 10-K. In addition to the contracts disclosed in the 2011 Form 10-K, in March 2012, the Company entered into a purchase contract with Southwestern Public Service Company for 65 MW during the months of June through August 2012.
Environmental Matters
General. The Company is subject to laws and regulations with respect to air, soil and water quality, waste disposal and other environmental matters by federal, state, regional, tribal and local authorities. Those authorities govern facility operations and have continuing jurisdiction over facility modifications. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in actions by regulatory agencies or other authorities that might seek to impose on the Company administrative, civil and/or criminal penalties or other sanctions. In addition, releases of pollutants or contaminants into the environment can result in costly cleanup liabilities. These laws and regulations are subject to change and, as a result of those changes, the Company may face additional capital and operating costs to comply. Certain key environmental issues, laws and regulations facing the Company are described further below.
Air Emissions. The U.S. Clean Air Act (“CAA”) and comparable state laws and regulations relating to air emissions impose, among other obligations, limitations on pollutants generated during the Company’s operations, including sulfur dioxide (“SO2”), particulate matter ("PM"), nitrogen oxides (“NOx”) and mercury.
Clean Air Interstate Rule. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (“EPA”) Clean Air Interstate Rule (“CAIR”), as applied to the Company, involves requirements to limit emissions of NOx from the Company’s power plants in Texas and/or purchase allowances representing other parties’ emissions reductions starting in 2009. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia voided CAIR in 2008; however, the Company has complied with CAIR since 2009, and such rule is binding. The annual reconciliation to comply with CAIR is due by March 31 of the following year. The Company has purchased allowances and expensed the following costs to meet its annual requirements (in thousands):
Compliance Year
 
 
Amount
 
2010
 
 
$
370

 
2011
 
 
90

 

Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. In July 2011, the EPA finalized the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (“CSAPR”) which is intended to replace CAIR. CSAPR requires 28 states, including Texas, to further reduce power plant emissions of SO2 and NOx. Under CSAPR, reductions in annual SO2 and NOx emissions were required to begin January 1, 2012, with further reductions required beginning January 1, 2014. On December 30, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its ruling to stay CSAPR, including the supplemental final rule, pending judicial review, which delays CSAPR's implementation date beyond January 1, 2012. The court is scheduled to hear the cases against the rule in 2012. Under this timeframe, the court could issue its decision by summer or early fall 2012. As the outcome of the judicial review and any other legal or Congressional challenges are uncertain, the Company is unable to determine what impact CSAPR may ultimately have on its operations and consolidated financial results, but it could be material. Until the legal challenges to CSAPR are resolved, the Company's obligations under CAIR remains in effect.
 
National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Under the CAA, the EPA sets National Ambient Air Quality Standards ("NAAQS") for six criteria emissions considered harmful to public health and the environment, including PM, NOx, CO and SO2. Areas meeting the NAAQS are designated attainment areas while those that do not meet the NAAQS are considered nonattainment areas. Each state must develop a plan to bring nonattainment areas into compliance with the NAAQS. NAAQS must be reviewed by the EPA at five-year intervals. In 2010, the EPA strengthened the NAAQS for both NOx and SO2. The Company is currently evaluating what impact this could have on its operations. If the Company is required to install additional equipment to control emissions at its facilities, the revised NAAQS could have a material impact on its operations and consolidated financial results. In addition, the EPA is currently reviewing the PM NAAQS. The Company cannot at this time predict the impact of this review and any possible new standards on its operations or consolidated financial results, but it could be material. The EPA had been in the process of revising the NAAQS for ozone. However, in September 2011, President Obama ordered the EPA to withdraw its proposal. Work, however, is underway to support EPA's planned reconsideration of the standards in 2013.
 

 
13
 

EL PASO ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
(Unaudited)


Utility MACT. The operation of coal-fired power plants, such as the Company's Four Corners plant, results in emissions of mercury and other air toxics. In December 2011, the EPA finalized Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (known as the "Utility MACT") for power plants, which replaces the prior federal Clean Air Mercury Rule and requires significant reductions in emissions of mercury and other air toxics. Companies impacted by the new standards will have up to four (and in certain cases five) years to comply. The Company is currently evaluating the new standards and cannot at this time determine the impact they may have on its Four Corners plant, but the cost of compliance could be material.
Climate Change. A significant portion of the Company's generation assets are nuclear or gas-fired, and as a result, the Company believes that its greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions are low relative to electric power companies who rely on more coal-fired generation. However, regulations governing the emission of GHGs, such as carbon dioxide, could impose significant costs or limitations on the Company. In recent years, the U.S. Congress has considered new legislation to restrict or regulate GHG emissions, although federal efforts directed at enacting comprehensive climate change legislation stalled in 2010 and appear unlikely to recommence in the near future. Nonetheless, it is possible that federal legislation related to GHG emissions will be considered by Congress in the future. The EPA has also proposed using the CAA to limit carbon dioxide and other GHG emissions, and other measures are being imposed or offered by individual states, municipalities and regional agreements with the goal of reducing GHG emissions.
In September 2009, the EPA adopted a rule requiring approximately 10,000 facilities comprising a substantial percentage of annual U.S. GHG emissions to inventory their emissions starting in 2010 and to report those emissions to the EPA beginning in 2011. The Company's fossil fuel-fired power generating assets are subject to this rule, and the first report containing 2010 emissions was submitted to the EPA prior to the September 30, 2011 due date. The Company also has inventoried and implemented procedures for electrical equipment containing sodium hexafluoride ("SF6"), another GHG. The Company is tracking these GHG emissions pursuant to the EPA's new SF6 reporting rule that was finalized in late 2010 and became effective January 1, 2011. The first report to EPA under this rule was originally due on March 31, 2012, but in November 2011, EPA delayed its submittal to September 26, 2012.
The EPA has also proposed and finalized other rulemakings on GHG emissions that affect electric utilities. Under EPA regulations finalized in May 2010 (referred to as the “Tailoring Rule”), the EPA began regulating GHG emissions from certain stationary sources in January 2011. The regulations are being implemented pursuant to two CAA programs: the Title V Operating Permit program and the program requiring a permit if undergoing construction or major modifications (referred to as the “PSD” program). Obligations relating to Title V permits will include recordkeeping and monitoring requirements. With respect to PSD permits, projects that cause a significant increase in GHG emissions (currently defined to be more than 75,000 tons or 100,000 tons per year, depending on various factors), will be required to implement “best available control technology,” or “BACT”. Pursuant to the rule, the EPA may reduce the 75,000 tons threshold referenced above in 2012 or thereafter. The EPA has issued guidance on what BACT entails for the control of GHGs, and individual states are now required to determine what controls are required for facilities within their jurisdiction on a case-by-case basis. The ultimate impact of these new regulations on the Company's operations cannot be determined at this time, but the cost of compliance with new regulations could be material. Also, on December 23, 2010, the EPA announced a settlement agreement with states and environmental groups regarding setting new source performance standards for GHG emissions from new and existing coal-, gas- and oil-based power plants. Pursuant to this agreement, and certain agreed upon extensions, the EPA intends to issue proposed rules for new and modified electric generating units ("EGUs") in 2012. On March 27, 2012, EPA released its proposed GHG New Source Performance Standard ("NSPS") for EGUs. The Company is currently determining how this proposed rule may impact existing and future operations, and plans to provide comments to EPA during the 60-day comment period that began on April 13, 2012. The impact of these rules on the Company is unknown at this time, but they could result in significant costs.
In addition, almost half of the states, either individually or through multi-state regional initiatives, have begun to consider how to address GHG emissions and are actively considering the development of emission inventories or regional GHG cap and trade programs.
 
It is not currently possible to predict with confidence how any pending, proposed or future GHG legislation by Congress, the states, or multi-state regions or regulations adopted by EPA or the state environmental agencies will impact the Company's business. However, any such legislation or regulation of GHG emissions or any future related litigation could result in increased compliance costs or additional operating restrictions or reduced demand for the power the Company generates, could require the Company to purchase rights to emit GHG, and could have a material adverse effect on the Company's business, financial condition, reputation or results of operations.
 


 
14
 

EL PASO ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
(Unaudited)


Climate change also has potential physical effects that could be relevant to the Company's business. In particular, some studies suggest that climate change could affect the Company's service area by causing higher temperatures, less winter precipitation and less spring runoff, as well as by causing more extreme weather events. Such developments could change the demand for power in the region and could also impact the price or ready availability of water supplies or affect maintenance needs and the reliability of Company equipment.
 
The Company believes that material effects on the Company's business or operations may result from the physical consequences of climate change, the regulatory approach to climate change ultimately selected and implemented by governmental authorities, or both. Substantial expenditures may be required for the Company to comply with such regulations in the future and, in some instances, those expenditures may be material. Given the very significant remaining uncertainties regarding whether and how these issues will be regulated, as well as the timing and severity of any physical effects of climate change, the Company believes it is impossible at present to meaningfully quantify the costs of these potential impacts.
Contamination Matters. The Company has a provision for environmental remediation obligations of approximately $0.5 million at March 31, 2012, related to compliance with federal and state environmental standards. However, unforeseen expenses associated with environmental compliance or remediation may occur and could have a material adverse effect on the future operations and financial condition of the Company.
 
The Company incurred the following expenditures during the three and twelve months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011 to comply with federal environmental statutes (in thousands): 
    
 
Three Months Ended
 
Twelve Months Ended
 
March 31,
 
March 31,
 
2012
 
2011
 
2012
 
2011
Clean Air Act (1)
$
229

 
$
58

 
$
887

 
$
456

Clean Water Act
46

 
56

 
254

 
200

_________________
(1) Includes an accrual of $0.2 million, in the first quarter of 2012, related to Four Corners generating station discussed below.

Environmental Litigation and Investigations. On April 6, 2009, APS received a request from the EPA under Section 114 of the CAA seeking detailed information regarding projects and operations at Four Corners. The EPA has taken the position that many utilities have made certain physical or operational changes at their plants that should have triggered additional regulatory requirements under the New Source Review provisions of the CAA. APS responded to this request in 2009. On February 16, 2010, a group of environmental organizations filed a petition with the United States Departments of Interior and Agriculture requesting that the agencies certify to the EPA that emissions from Four Corners are causing “reasonably attributable visibility impairment” under the CAA.  If the agencies certify impairment, the EPA is required to evaluate and, if necessary, determine “best available retrofit technology" (“BART”) for Four Corners.  On January 19, 2011, a similar group of environmental organizations filed a lawsuit against the Departments of Interior and Agriculture, alleging, among other things, that the agencies failed to act on the February 2010 petition “without unreasonable delay” and requesting the court to order the agencies to act on the petition within 30 days.  Since July 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ"), on behalf of the EPA, and APS have been engaged in substantive settlement negotiations.  Most recently, by letter dated March 2, 2012, the DOJ submitted a revised settlement proposal.  Settlement discussions have included provisions for a civil penalty and environmental mitigation projects. The Company has determined that payment of a penalty and payment for environmental mitigation projects is likely to occur and that the current range for the Company's loss contingency exposure is $0.2 million to $0.9 million. The Company has accrued $0.2 million related to this matter. The settlement discussions have emphasized that the environment mitigation projects that address alleged harm to the Navajo Nation be spent within five years of the date a decree is entered.
 
The Company received word that Earthjustice filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for New Mexico on October 4, 2011 for alleged violations of the Prevention of Significant Deterioration provisions of the CAA related to Four Corners. Subsequent to filing its original Complaint, on January 6, 2012, Earthjustice filed a First Amended Complaint adding claims for violations of the CAA's NSPS program. Among other things, the plaintiffs seek to have the court enjoin operations at Four Corners until APS applies for and obtains any required PSD permits and complies with the NSPS. The plaintiffs further request the court to order the payment of civil penalties, including a beneficial mitigation project. APS advised that it believes the claims in this matter are without merit and will vigorously defend against them. The Company is unable to predict the outcome of these alleged violations.

 
15
 

EL PASO ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
(Unaudited)



H. Litigation
The Company is a party to various legal actions. In many of these matters, the Company has excess casualty liability insurance that covers the various claims, actions and complaints. Based upon a review of these claims and applicable insurance coverage, to the extent that the Company has been able to reach a conclusion as to its ultimate liability, it believes that none of these claims will have a material adverse effect on the financial position, results of operations or cash flows of the Company.
See Note C for discussion of the effects of government legislation and regulation on the Company.
 

I. Employee Benefits
Retirement Plans
The net periodic benefit cost recognized for the three and twelve months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011 is made up of the components listed below as determined using the projected unit credit actuarial cost method (in thousands):
 
 
Three Months Ended
 
Twelve Months Ended
 
March 31,
 
March 31,
 
2012
 
2011
 
2012
 
2011
Components of net periodic benefit cost:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Service cost
$
2,225

 
$
1,743

 
$
7,332

 
$
6,307

Interest cost
3,378

 
3,495

 
13,870

 
13,699

Amendments

 

 

 
838

Expected return on plan assets
(3,610
)
 
(3,533
)
 
(14,172
)
 
(13,900
)
Amortization of:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net loss
2,965

 
1,583

 
7,926

 
4,232

Prior service cost
27

 
27

 
115

 
117

Net periodic benefit cost
$
4,985

 
$
3,315

 
$
15,071

 
$
11,293

During the three months ended March 31, 2012, the Company contributed $6.4 million of its projected $19.8 million 2012 annual contribution to its retirement plans.
Other Postretirement Benefits
The net periodic benefit cost recognized for the three and twelve months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011 is made up of the components listed below (in thousands): 
 
Three Months Ended
 
Twelve Months Ended
 
March 31,
 
March 31,
 
2012
 
2011
 
2012
 
2011
Components of net periodic benefit cost:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Service cost
$
1,070

 
$
738

 
$
3,320

 
$
3,371

Interest cost
1,415

 
1,290

 
5,504

 
6,229

Expected return on plan assets
(435
)
 
(458
)
 
(1,800
)
 
(1,612
)
Amortization of:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Prior service benefit
(1,470
)
 
(1,482
)
 
(5,915
)
 
(3,626
)
Net loss (gain)
160

 
(108
)
 
229

 
(283
)
Net periodic benefit cost
$
740

 
$
(20
)
 
$
1,338

 
$
4,079


During the three months ended March 31, 2012, the Company contributed $0.6 million of its projected $2.5 million 2012 annual contribution to its postretirement plan.

 
16
 

EL PASO ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
(Unaudited)



J. Financial Instruments and Investments
FASB guidance requires the Company to disclose estimated fair values for its financial instruments. The Company has determined that cash and temporary investments, investment in debt securities, accounts receivable, decommissioning trust funds, long-term debt, short-term borrowings under the RCF, accounts payable and customer deposits meet the definition of financial instruments. The carrying amounts of cash and temporary investments, accounts receivable, accounts payable and customer deposits approximate fair value because of the short maturity of these items. Investments in debt securities and decommissioning trust funds are carried at fair value.
Long-Term Debt and Short-Term Borrowings Under the RCF. The fair values of the Company’s long-term debt and short-term borrowings under the RCF are based on estimated market prices for similar issues and are presented below (in thousands): 
 
March 31, 2012
 
December 31, 2011
 
Carrying
Amount
 
Estimated
Fair
Value
 
Carrying
Amount
 
Estimated
Fair
Value
Pollution Control Bonds
$
193,135

 
$
210,598

 
$
193,135

 
$
206,756

Senior Notes
546,675

 
647,840

 
546,662

 
700,371

RGRT Senior Notes (1)
110,000

 
117,405

 
110,000

 
116,985

RCF (1)
92,570

 
92,570

 
33,379

 
33,379

Total
$
942,380

 
$
1,068,413

 
$
883,176

 
$
1,057,491

_______________ 
(1)
Nuclear fuel financing as of March 31, 2012 is funded through the $110 million RGRT Senior Notes and $39.6 million under the RCF and $53.0 million was outstanding under the RCF for working capital and general corporate purposes. The interest rate on the Company’s borrowings under the RCF is reset throughout the quarter reflecting current market rates. Consequently, the carrying value approximates fair value.
Marketable Securities. The Company’s marketable securities, included in decommissioning trust funds in the balance sheets, are reported at fair value which was $178.5 million and $168.0 million at March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively. These securities are classified as available for sale under FASB guidance for certain investments in debt and equity securities and are valued using prices and other relevant information generated by market transactions involving identical or comparable securities. The reported fair values include gross unrealized losses on marketable securities whose impairment the Company has deemed to be temporary. The tables below present the gross unrealized losses and the fair value of these securities, aggregated by investment category and length of time that individual securities have been in a continuous unrealized loss position (in thousands): 
 
March 31, 2012
 
Less than 12 Months
 
12 Months or Longer
 
Total
 
Fair
Value
 
Unrealized
Losses
 
Fair
Value
 
Unrealized
Losses
 
Fair
Value
 
Unrealized
Losses
Description of Securities (1):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Federal Agency Mortgage Backed Securities
$
20

 
$
(1
)
 
$
1,304

 
$
(33
)
 
$
1,324

 
$
(34
)
U.S. Government Bonds
3,271

 
(34
)
 
2,395

 
(56
)
 
5,666

 
(90
)
Municipal Obligations
3,310

 
(26
)
 
4,981

 
(189
)
 
8,291

 
(215
)
Corporate Obligations
2,334

 
(14
)
 
732

 
(9
)
 
3,066

 
(23
)
Total Debt Securities
8,935

 
(75
)
 
9,412

 
(287
)
 
18,347

 
(362
)
Common Stock
7,546

 
(1,016
)
 
1,611

 
(356
)
 
9,157

 
(1,372
)
Total Temporarily Impaired Securities
$
16,481

 
$
(1,091
)
 
$
11,023

 
$
(643
)
 
$
27,504

 
$
(1,734
)
 
_________________
(1)
Includes approximately 87 securities.

 
17
 

EL PASO ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
(Unaudited)


 
December 31, 2011
 
Less than 12 Months
 
12 Months or Longer
 
Total
 
Fair
Value
 
Unrealized
Losses
 
Fair
Value
 
Unrealized
Losses
 
Fair
Value
 
Unrealized
Losses
Description of Securities (2):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Federal Agency Mortgage Backed Securities
$
515

 
$
(8
)
 
$
1,233

 
$
(23
)
 
$
1,748

 
$
(31
)
U.S. Government Bonds
100

 
(1
)
 
2,413

 
(38
)
 
2,513

 
(39
)
Municipal Obligations
2,275

 
(31
)
 
4,731

 
(144
)
 
7,006

 
(175
)
Corporate Obligations
3,525

 
(118
)
 
1,234

 
(43
)
 
4,759

 
(161
)
Total Debt Securities
6,415

 
(158
)
 
9,611

 
(248
)
 
16,026

 
(406
)
Common Stock
10,688

 
(2,065
)
 
1,740

 
(489
)
 
12,428

 
(2,554
)
Total Temporarily Impaired Securities
$
17,103

 
$
(2,223
)
 
$
11,351

 
$
(737
)
 
$
28,454

 
$
(2,960
)
 
_________________
(2)
Includes approximately 96 securities.
The Company monitors the length of time the security trades below its cost basis along with the amount and percentage of the unrealized loss in determining if a decline in fair value of marketable securities below recorded cost is considered to be other than temporary. In addition, the Company will research the future prospects of individual securities as necessary. As a result of these factors, as well as the Company’s intent and ability to hold these securities until their market price recovers, these securities are considered temporarily impaired. The Company will not have a requirement to expend monies held in trust before 2044 or a later period when the Company begins to decommission Palo Verde.
 
The reported fair values also include gross unrealized gains on marketable securities which have not been recognized in the Company’s net income. The table below presents the unrecognized gross unrealized gains and the fair value of these securities, aggregated by investment category (in thousands): 
 
March 31, 2012
 
December 31, 2011
 
Fair
Value
 
Unrealized
Gains
 
Fair
Value
 
Unrealized
Gains
Description of Securities:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Federal Agency Mortgage Backed Securities
$
23,470

 
$
1,141

 
$
25,077

 
$
1,220

U.S. Government Bonds
11,473

 
640

 
10,263

 
972

Municipal Obligations
26,577

 
1,506

 
30,310

 
1,792

Corporate Obligations
9,733

 
599

 
7,641

 
459

Total Debt Securities
71,253

 
3,886

 
73,291

 
4,443

Common Stock
75,351

 
22,956

 
62,479

 
15,681

Cash and Cash Equivalents
4,420

 

 
3,739

 

Total
$
151,024

 
$
26,842

 
$
139,509

 
$
20,124

The Company’s marketable securities include investments in municipal, corporate and federal debt obligations. Substantially all of the Company’s mortgage-backed securities, based on contractual maturity, are due in 10 years or more. The mortgage-backed securities have an estimated weighted average maturity which generally range from 3 to 7 years and reflects anticipated future prepayments. The contractual year for maturity of these available-for-sale securities as of March 31, 2012 is as follows (in thousands): 
 
Total
 
2012
 
2013
through
2016
 
2017 through 2021
 
2022 and Beyond
Municipal Debt Obligations
$
34,868

 
$
999

 
$
11,698

 
$
14,977

 
$
7,194

Corporate Debt Obligations
12,799

 

 
3,692

 
5,517

 
3,590

U.S. Government Bonds
17,139

 
1,209

 
4,272

 
7,868

 
3,790



 
18
 

EL PASO ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
(Unaudited)


The Company recognizes impairment losses on certain of its securities deemed to be other than temporary. In accordance with FASB guidance, these impairment losses are recognized in net income, and a lower cost basis is established for these securities. For the three and twelve months ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, the Company recognized other than temporary impairment losses on its available-for-sale securities as follows (in thousands): 
 
Three Months Ended
 
Twelve Months Ended
 
March 31,
 
March 31,
 
2012
 
2011
 
2012
 
2011
Gross unrealized holding losses included in pre-tax income
$

 
$

 
$
(2,116
)
 
$
(263
)
 
The Company’s marketable securities in its decommissioning trust funds are sold from time to time and the Company uses the specific identification basis to determine the amount to reclassify out of accumulated other comprehensive income and into net income. The proceeds from the sale of these securities and the related effects on pre-tax income are as follows (in thousands): 
 
Three Months Ended
 
Twelve Months Ended
 
March 31,
 
March 31,
 
2012
 
2011
 
2012
 
2011
Proceeds from sales of available-for-sale securities
$
19,579

 
$
14,231

 
$
88,274

 
$
56,383

Gross realized gains included in pre-tax income
$
389

 
$
264

 
$
1,604

 
$
897

Gross realized losses included in pre-tax income
(176
)
 
(59
)
 
(838
)
 
(520
)
Gross unrealized losses included in pre-tax income

 

 
(2,116
)
 
(263
)
Net gains (losses) in pre-tax income
$
213

 
$
205

 
$
(1,350
)
 
$
114

Net unrealized holding gains included in accumulated other comprehensive income
$
8,158

 
$
2,173

 
$
7,555

 
$
6,415

Net (gains) losses reclassified out of accumulated other comprehensive income
(213
)
 
(205
)
 
1,350

 
(114
)
Net gains in other comprehensive income
$
7,945

 
$
1,968

 
$
8,905

 
$
6,301

Fair Value Measurements. FASB guidance requires the Company to provide expanded quantitative disclosures for financial assets and liabilities recorded on the balance sheet at fair value. Financial assets carried at fair value include the Company’s decommissioning trust investments and investments in debt securities which are included in deferred charges and other assets on the consolidated balance sheets. The Company has no liabilities that are measured at fair value on a recurring basis. The FASB guidance establishes a fair value hierarchy that prioritizes the inputs to valuation techniques used to measure fair value into three levels as follows:
Level 1 – Observable inputs that reflect quoted market prices for identical assets and liabilities in active markets. Financial assets utilizing Level 1 inputs include the nuclear decommissioning trust investments in active exchange-traded equity securities and U.S. treasury securities that are in a highly liquid and active market.
Level 2 – Inputs other than quoted market prices included in Level 1 that are observable for the asset or liability either directly or indirectly. Financial assets utilizing Level 2 inputs include the nuclear decommissioning trust investments in fixed income securities. The fair value of these financial instruments is based on evaluated prices that reflect observable market information, such as actual trade information of similar securities, adjusted for observable differences.
Level 3 – Unobservable inputs using data that is not corroborated by market data and primarily based on internal Company analysis using models and various other analyses. Financial assets utilizing Level 3 inputs include the Company’s investments in debt securities.
The securities in the Company’s decommissioning trust funds are valued using prices and other relevant information generated by market transactions involving identical or comparable securities. FASB guidance identifies this valuation technique as the

 
19
 

EL PASO ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY
NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
(Unaudited)


“market approach” with observable inputs. The Company analyzes available-for-sale securities to determine if losses are other than temporary.
The fair value of the Company’s decommissioning trust funds and investments in debt securities, at March 31, 2012 and December 31, 2011, and the level within the three levels of the fair value hierarchy defined by FASB guidance are presented in the table below (in thousands): 
Description of Securities
Fair Value as of March 31, 2012
 
Quoted Prices
in Active
Markets for
Identical Assets
(Level 1)
 
Significant
Other
Observable
Inputs
(Level 2)
 
Significant
Unobservable
Inputs
(Level 3)
Trading Securities:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Investments in Debt Securities
$
1,240

 
$

 
$

 
$
1,240

Available for sale:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
U.S. Government Bonds
$
17,139

 
$
17,139

 
$

 
$

Federal Agency Mortgage Backed Securities
24,794

 

 
24,794

 

Municipal Bonds
34,868

 

 
34,868

 

Corporate Asset Backed Obligations
12,799

 

 
12,799

 

Subtotal Debt Securities
89,600

 
17,139

 
72,461

 

Common Stock
84,508

 
84,508

 

 

Cash and Cash Equivalents
4,420

 
4,420

 

 

Total available for sale
$
178,528

 
$
106,067

 
$
72,461

 
$

Description of Securities
Fair Value as of December 31, 2011
 
Quoted Prices
in Active
Markets for
Identical Assets
(Level 1)
 
Significant
Other
Observable
Inputs
(Level 2)
 
Significant
Unobservable
Inputs
(Level 3)
Trading Securities:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Investments in Debt Securities
$
1,120

 
$

 
$

 
$
1,120

Available for sale:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
U.S. Government Bonds
$
12,776

 
$
12,776

 
$

 
$

Federal Agency Mortgage Backed Securities
26,825

 

 
26,825

 

Municipal Bonds
37,316

 

 
37,316

 

Corporate Asset Backed Obligations
12,400

 

 
12,400

 

Subtotal Debt Securities
89,317

 
12,776

 
76,541

 

Common Stock
74,907

 
74,907

 

 

Cash and Cash Equivalents
3,739

 
3,739

 

 

Total available for sale
$
167,963

 
$
91,422

 
$
76,541

 
$

There were no transfers in and out of Level 1 and Level 2 fair value measurements categories during the three and twelve month periods ending March 31, 2012 and March 31, 2011.     
During the fourth quarter of 2011, the Company sold an investment in a debt security for $2.0 million that was categorized as a Level 3 investment. The Company realized in the consolidated statement of operations as investment and interest income a gain on the sale of the debt security of $0.4 million during the twelve month period ending March 31, 2012. There were no other purchases, sales, issuances, or settlements related to the assets in the Level 3 fair value measurement category during the three month periods ending March 31, 2012 and 2011 and the twelve month periods ending March 31, 2012 and 2011.

 
20
 


Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
The Board of Directors and Shareholders
El Paso Electric Company:
We have reviewed the consolidated balance sheet of El Paso Electric Company and subsidiary as of March 31, 2012, the related consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive operations for the three-month and twelve-month periods ended March 31, 2012 and 2011, and the related consolidated statements of cash flows for the three-month periods ended March 31, 2012 and 2011. These consolidated financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management.
We conducted our reviews in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States). A review of interim financial information consists principally of applying analytical procedures and making inquiries of persons responsible for financial and accounting matters. It is substantially less in scope than an audit conducted in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States), the objective of which is the expression of an opinion regarding the financial statements taken as a whole. Accordingly, we do not express such an opinion.
Based on our reviews, we are not aware of any material modifications that should be made to the consolidated financial statements referred to above for them to be in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.
We have previously audited, in accordance with standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States), the consolidated balance sheet of El Paso Electric Company and subsidiary as of December 31, 2011, and the related consolidated statements of operations, comprehensive operations, changes in common stock equity, and cash flows for the year then ended (not presented herein); and in our report dated February 24, 2012, we expressed an unqualified opinion on those consolidated financial statements. In our opinion, the information set forth in the accompanying consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2011, is fairly stated, in all material respects, in relation to the consolidated balance sheet from which it has been derived.
/s/ KPMG LLP
Houston, Texas
May 4, 2012

 
21
 


Item 2.
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
The information contained in this Item 2 updates, and should be read in conjunction with, the information set forth in Part II, Item 7 of our 2011 Form 10-K.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Certain matters discussed in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q other than statements of historical information are “forward-looking statements.” The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 has established that these statements qualify for safe harbors from liability. Forward-looking statements may include words like we “believe”, “anticipate”, “target”, “expect”, “pro forma”, “estimate”, “intend” and words of similar meaning. Forward-looking statements describe our future plans, objectives, expectations or goals. Such statements address future events and conditions concerning and include, but are not limited to, such things as:
capital expenditures,
earnings,
liquidity and capital resources,
ratemaking/regulatory matters,
litigation,
accounting matters,
possible corporate restructurings, acquisitions and dispositions,
compliance with debt and other restrictive covenants,
interest rates and dividends,
environmental matters,
nuclear operations, and
the overall economy of our service area.
These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks that may cause our actual results in future periods to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statement. Factors that would cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, such things as:
the financial impact of the proposed settlement to our rate case filed February 1, 2012 which is expected to be approved by the PUCT in May or June 2012,
our ability to recover our costs and earn a reasonable rate of return on our invested capital through rates,
ability of our operating partners to maintain plant operations and manage operation and maintenance costs at the Palo Verde and Four Corners plants, including costs to comply with any potential new or expanded regulatory requirements,
reductions in output at generation plants operated by us,
unscheduled outages including outages at Palo Verde,
the size of our construction program and our ability to complete construction on budget and on a timely basis,
electric utility deregulation or re-regulation,
regulated and competitive markets,
ongoing municipal, state and federal activities,
economic and capital market conditions,
changes in accounting requirements and other accounting matters,
changing weather trends and the impact of severe weather conditions,
rates, cost recovery mechanisms and other regulatory matters including the ability to recover fuel costs on a timely basis,

 
22
 


changes in environmental laws and regulations and the enforcement or interpretation thereof, including those related to air, water or greenhouse gas emissions or other environmental matters,
political, legislative, judicial and regulatory developments,
the impact of lawsuits filed against us,
the impact of changes in interest rates,
changes in, and the assumptions used for, pension and other post-retirement and post-employment benefit liability calculations, as well as actual and assumed investment returns on pension plan and other post-retirement plan assets,
the impact of recent U.S. health care reform legislation,
the impact of changing cost escalation and other assumptions on our nuclear decommissioning liability for Palo Verde,
Texas, New Mexico and electric industry utility service reliability standards,
homeland security considerations, including those associated with the U.S./Mexico border region,
coal, uranium, natural gas, oil and wholesale electricity prices and availability, and
other circumstances affecting anticipated operations, sales and costs.
These lists are not all-inclusive because it is not possible to predict all factors. A discussion of some of these factors is included in the 2011 Form 10-K under the headings “Management’s Discussion and Analysis” “-Summary of Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates” and “-Liquidity and Capital Resources.” This report should be read in its entirety. No one section of this report deals with all aspects of the subject matter. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date such statement was made, and we are not obligated to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement was made except as required by applicable laws or regulations.

Summary of Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
The preparation of our financial statements requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the consolidated financial statements and related notes for the periods presented and actual results could differ in future periods from those estimates. Critical accounting policies and estimates are both important to the portrayal of our financial condition and results of operations and require complex, subjective judgments and are more fully described in the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in our 2011 Form 10-K.

Summary
The following is an overview of our results of operations for the three and twelve month periods ended March 31, 2012 and 2011. Income before extraordinary item for the three and twelve month periods ended March 31, 2012 and 2011 is shown below: 
 
Three Months Ended
 
Twelve Months Ended
 
March 31,
 
March 31,
 
2012
 
2011
 
2012
 
2011
Income before extraordinary item (in thousands)
$
3,344

 
$
6,775

 
$
100,108

 
$
85,643

Basic earnings per share before extraordinary item
0.08

 
0.16

 
2.45

 
1.99











 
23
 


The following table and accompanying explanations show the primary factors affecting the after-tax change in income before extraordinary item between the 2012 and 2011 periods presented (in thousands): 
 
Three Months
Ended
 
Twelve Months
Ended
March 31, 2011 income before extraordinary item
$
6,775

 
$
85,643

Change in (net of tax):
 
 
 
Increased retail non-fuel base revenues (a)
1,339

 
26,412

Increased transmission revenues (b)
196

 
2,894

Increased operations and maintenance at fossil fuel generating plants (c)
(1,638
)
 
(6,162
)
Decreased allowance for funds used during construction (d)
(1,533
)
 
(6,025
)
Decreased deregulated Palo Verde Unit 3 revenues (e)