NiSource Inc. (NYSE:NI) Q1 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

May 03, 2017 • 09:00 am ET

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NiSource Inc. (NYSE:NI) Q1 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the NiSource Q1 2017 Earnings Conference Call. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference call is being recorded.

I would now like to introduce your host, Mr. Randy Hulen, Vice President of Investor Relations. Sir, you may begin.

Executive
Randy Hulen

Thank you, Brian, and good morning, everyone. Welcome to the quarterly investor call. Joining me this morning are Joe Hamrock, Chief Executive Officer and Donald Brown, Chief Financial Officer.

The purpose of today's call is to review NiSource's financial performance for the first quarter of 2017 as well as provide an update on our utility operations and growth drivers. We'll then open the call up to your questions.

As a reminder, we will be referring to our supplemental earnings slides during this call. These slides are available on our website. Also available on our website is the document that contains segment and financial information to accompany this presentation.

(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)

In addition, some of the statements made on this conference call relate to non-GAAP measures. For additional information on the most directly comparable GAAP measure and a reconciliation of these measures, please refer to the supplemental slides and additional segment and financial information available on nisource.com.

With all that out of the way, the call is now yours, Joe.

Executive
Joe Hamrock

Thanks, Randy, and good morning, everyone, and thanks for joining us. NiSource started 2017 with strong first quarter financial and operational results. I'm proud of our talented and dedicated teams across NiSource for delivering sustained value for our customers, community and investors. The long-term modernization programs underway in each of our states provide clear and compelling investment opportunities, which our teams are effectively executing.

Let's look at slide 3 of our supplemental deck and highlight some of our significant achievements thus far in 2017. We delivered net operating earnings per share non-GAAP of $0.71 compared to $0.62 during the same period in 2016. We're on plan to invest $1.6 billion to $1.7 billion in our gas and electric utility infrastructure across our seven states this year. These financial results and investment levels have NiSource on track to deliver non-GAAP annual net operating earnings in the upper half of the Company's 2017 guidance range of $1.12 to $1.18 per share.

Today, we filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission an at-the-market or ATM equity issuance program. The ATM, combined with future debt offerings and our well-established dividend reinvestment program, is intended to provide a balanced financing approach for NiSource's utility capital investments.

Consistent with what we shared with you at our Investor Day in March, we continue to expect to grow our net operating earnings per share and dividend at 5% to 7% annually through 2020. We also expect to invest $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion annually in our utility infrastructure programs from 2018 through 2020.

These program investments are part of our more than $30 billion of identified long-term investment opportunities. We're also continuing to execute on our investment and regulatory programs across all seven