Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) Q4 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 18, 2016 • 10:00 am ET


Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) Q4 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good day, everyone, and welcome to the Duke Energy Year End 2015 Earnings Conference Call. Today's call is being recorded.

At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Bill Currens. Please go ahead.

Bill Currens

Thank you, April. Good morning everyone, and welcome to Duke Energy's fourth quarter and full year 2015 earnings review and business update. Leading our call is Lynn Good, Chairman, President and CEO; along with Steve Young, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Today's discussion will include forward-looking information and the use of non-GAAP financial measures. Slide two presents the Safe Harbor statement, which accompanies our presentation materials. A reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures can be found on duke-energy.com and in today's materials. Please note that the appendix to today's presentation includes supplemental information and additional disclosures.

Before turning the call over to Lynn, I would like to give you an update on staffing for the Duke Energy IR team. After over two years with the team, Charlie Tapp will be shortly assuming new responsibilities within the Duke Energy organization. Therefore, this will be his last earnings call. I am very excited for Charlie, as this is a fantastic career move for him. Many of you have work closely with him over the past few years, and I hope you will join me in congratulating him on this fantastic move.

With that, I will turn the call over to Lynn.

Lynn J. Good

Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us today. Today, we reported 2015 adjusted earnings of $4.54 per share in line with the year ago. I'm pleased with the solid performance and operational execution of our core regulated businesses despite record mild December weather. These results largely offset challenges throughout the year in our International operation.

As a sign of confidence in the future, our board, last year, doubled the growth rate of the dividend, a key component of our investor value proposition.During today's call, we have several objectives. First, I will highlight how we are strategically positioning the business portfolio and investing for the long term. Then I will discuss our 2015 operational highlights, including our industry-leading safety and environmental performance. Steve will provide a financial update, with our outlook for 2016 and beyond.

Turning to slide four, I'll begin with a broader discussion of our strategy, which provides an important context for the five-year financial plan that Steve will cover. Our industry is undergoing transformation with new technology, evolving customer expectations, increasingly impactful public policies and abundant low-cost natural gas. These factors will have a profound impact on our business in the years ahead and are enforming our strategic investments.

We are focusing our long-term strategy on our core domestic, regulated businesses and our highly-contracted Renewables portfolio. We will invest an increasing amount in the electric grid, to strengthen reliability and resilience and enable new customer solutions. To advance reliable, cost-effective power and a lower-carbon future, we will invest in natural gas generation and infrastructure, as well as build on our