WEC Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE:WEC) Q4 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 04, 2016 • 02:00 pm ET


WEC Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE:WEC) Q4 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for waiting and welcome to WEC Energy Group's Conference Call to review the 2015 Year End Results. This call is being recorded for rebroadcast, and all participants are in a listen-only mode at this time.

Before the conference call begins, I will read the forward-looking language. All statements in this presentation, other than historical facts, are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, which are subject to change at any time. Such statements are based on management's expectations at the time they are made.

In addition to the assumptions and other factors referred to in connection with the statement, factors described in WEC Energy Group's and Integrys Holding's latest Form 10-Ks and subsequent reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated.

During the discussions, referenced earnings per share will be based on diluted earnings per share unless otherwise noted. After the presentation, the conference will be open to analysts for questions-and-answers. In conjunction with this call, WEC has posted on its website a package of detailed financial information at wecenergygroup.com. A replay of our remarks will be available approximately two hours after the conclusion of this call.

And now, it's my pleasure to introduce Mr. Gale Klappa, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of WEC Energy Group.

Gale E. Klappa

Helane, thank you. Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining us today as we review our results for calendar year 2015. As you know, we formed WEC Energy Group on June 29, when we closed our acquisition of Integrys. So today's report reflects two full quarters as a combined company.

I'll update our progress on a number of major initiatives in just a moment. But first, as always, I'd like to introduce the members of our management team who are here with me today. We have Allen Leverett, President of WEC Energy Group and CEO-elect; Pat Keyes, our Chief Financial Officer; Susan Martin, General Counsel; Bill Guc, Controller; Scott Lauber, Treasurer; and Beth Straka, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations.

Turning now to our 2015 performance, I'd like to remind you that we're focusing on legacy Wisconsin Energy, so our financial results have been adjusted to remove the impact of the acquisition. And as you saw from our news release this morning, we reported Wisconsin Energy adjusted standalone earnings of $2.73 a share for 2015, that compares with adjusted earnings of $2.65 a share for 2014.

Looking back over the latest year, it was not only a transformational year for our company, but a year also of significant achievements. We Energies was named the most reliable utility in the Midwest for the fifth consecutive year.

In international studies, we Energies ranked in the top quartile in the Midwest again for customer service and power quality and in the top quartile nationally for customer service. In addition, Wisconsin Public Service in Green Bay was ranked number two in the Midwest for overall