Piedmont Natural Gas Co. Inc. (NYSE:PNY) Q2 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jun 08, 2015 • 09:30 am ET

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Piedmont Natural Gas Co. Inc. (NYSE:PNY) Q2 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
operator

Good day, everyone, and welcome to the Piedmont Natural Gas Second Quarter 2015 Earnings Conference Call. Today's conference is being recorded.

At this time, I'd like to turn the call over to Mr. Nick Giaimo. Please go ahead, sir.

Executive
Nick Giaimo

Thank you, Dana. Good morning, everyone. And thank you for joining the Piedmont Natural Gas second quarter 2015 earnings conference call.

This call is open to the general public and is being Webcast live over the Internet. If you would like to access the Webcast of this call or view the slides of the accompanying presentation, please visit our website at PiedmontNG.com and choose the For Investors link. On the right hand side of that page you will find the appropriate links.

On the call today presenting prepared remarks we have Tom Skains, President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; and Karl Newlin, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Other officers of the Company are also in attendance to take your questions.

Finally, this call may include forward-looking statements and our actual results may materially differ from those statements. More information about the risks and uncertainties relating to these forward-looking statements may be found in Piedmont's second-quarter Form 10-Q filed Friday afternoon with the SEC.

And with that I will turn the call over to Tom.

Executive
Tom Skains

Thank you, Nick. Good morning, everybody, and thank you for joining us for our second-quarter 2015 earnings conference call. The team saw many of you at the AGA financial forum last month and we appreciate the opportunity to speak with you again today.

As you know, we filed our second-quarter 10-Q and issued our Earnings Release on Friday. This morning I'm going of to talk about our recent accomplishments and provide you with a general update on the Company. Then I'll turn the call over to Karl Newlin to give you a more detailed discussion of our second-quarter financial results.

Our strong start to the year continued into the second quarter. As you see on slide two, we generated net income of $66 million and diluted earnings per share of $0.84 in the second quarter, up 6% and 5% from the second quarter of last year.

We also continued to experience strong customer growth with the addition of more than 8,500 customers year to date, a 7% improvement from last year's growth level. We remain focused on our $565 million utility and joint venture capital expansion program for FY15, including an estimated $270 million of system integrity expenditures.

Earlier this year we announced our intention to issue up to $170 million of new equity as a part of the at-the-market equity program. We began selling shares under that program this quarter and sold 612,000 shares through April 30. Karl will speak about the program and its progress in more detail in a few moments. Finally, we reaffirmed our 2015 earnings per share guidance range of $1.82 to $1.92 per share.

Slide three shows our second-quarter earnings of $66 million which were nearly $4 million higher than