PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL) Q4 2014 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 05, 2015 • 08:30 am ET


PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL) Q4 2014 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good morning, and welcome to the PPL Corporation Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call. All participants will be in a listen-only mode. (Operator Instructions) After today's presentation, there'll be an opportunity to ask questions. (Operator Instructions) Please note this event is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to Joe Bergstein, VP, IR. Please go ahead.

Joseph P. Bergstein

Thank you, Emily. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining the PPL conference call on fourth quarter results and our general business outlook. We are providing slides of this presentation on our website at www.pplweb.com.

(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)

We will refer to ongoing earnings, a non-GAAP measure on this call for a reconciliation to the GAAP measure, you should refer to the press release, which has been posted on our website, has been filed with the SEC. And as a reminder, Talen Energy has filed its Form S1 registration statement with the SEC, and as such, we are in a quiet period with respect to future prospects of PPL Energy Supply and Talen.

At this time, I'd like to turn the call over to Bill Spence, PPL Chairman, President and CEO.

William H. Spence

Thank you, Joe. Good morning, everyone. We're pleased that you're joining us this morning. With me on the call today are Vince Sorgi, PPL's CFO, and the Presidents of our four business segments.

Moving to slide three, our agenda this morning starts with an overview of our 2014 earnings results, an operational overview and a discussion of our 2015 earnings forecast. After my remarks, Vince will review our segment financials, and we'll talk about the recent movement of the pound sterling, and then, we're going to take your questions.

On a number of fronts, 2014 was another very successful year for PPL. We achieved strong earnings results in our regulated utility segments and a competitive supply segment, also turned in a solid performance despite the continued challenging market conditions. And we made significant progress towards the spinoff of our supply business, which is designed to unlock significant value for our shareowners.

The continued excellent performance of our utility, operations and our ongoing infrastructure investments in those companies together with the successful restructuring of our corporate support functions, give us confidence in PPL's ability to achieve compound growth in earnings of 4% to 6% through at least 2017 following the spinoff of the supply business. Turning to slide four, today, we announced 2014 reported earnings of $2.61 per share, an increase of $0.85 from our 2013 results. Adjusting for special items, our 2014 earnings from ongoing operations were $2.45 per share, matching the level that we achieved in 2013, despite significantly lower hedged power prices in our supply business. I'm very pleased, we're able to match our 2013 ongoing earnings per share this year with a solid financial performance of our regulated utilities, primarily in Pennsylvania and the UK, offsetting the $0.10 decline we saw in supply.

For the fourth quarter, reported earnings were $1.04 per share, compared with a loss