NiSource Inc. (NYSE:NI) Q3 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Nov 01, 2017 • 09:00 am ET

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NiSource Inc. (NYSE:NI) Q3 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Q3 2017 NiSource Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session, and instructions will follow at that time. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference call is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to your host, Randy Hulen, VP of IR.

Executive
Randy Hulen

Thank you, Alex; and good morning, everyone. Welcome to the NiSource quarterly investor call. Joining me this morning are Joe Hamrock, CEO; and Donald Brown, CFO. The purpose of today's call is to review NiSource's financial performance for the third quarter of 2017, as well as provide an overall business update on our operations and our growth drivers. We'll then open the call up to your questions. We will be referring to our supplemental slides during this call. These slides are available on our website at nisource.com.

(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)

In addition, some of the statements made on this call can 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, which is also available on nisource.com. In that document, you'll also find our full financial schedules that have historically been available in our earnings release.

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

Executive
Joseph Hamrock

Thanks, Randy; and good morning, everyone, and thanks for joining us. NiSource continues to make progress on our customer-focused business plan, delivering on our infrastructure investments, regulatory initiatives and customer growth programs while enhancing our capabilities through transformation initiatives.

Let's look at slide three of our supplemental deck and highlight our financial position and some of our achievements so far this year. We delivered third quarter non-GAAP net operating earnings per share of $0.07 compared to a $0.06 during the same period in 2016. We remain on track to invest an estimated $1.6 billion to $1.7 billion in utility infrastructure this year with more than $1.3 billion invested through the third quarter. These program investments are part of our more than $30 billion of identified long-term investment opportunities. The teams' strong steady performance is creating value for our customers, communities and investors, and we continue to expect to deliver 2017 non-GAAP net operating earnings of $1.17 to $1.20 per share.

Additionally, as we announced in this morning's press release, we're initiating 2018 non-GAAP net operating earnings guidance of $1.26 to $1.32 per share. This range is anchored in the continued execution of our growth strategy and enhanced by our recent successful debt refinancing.

Moving to some highlights of our progress in the third quarter. In our Gas segment, we filed a base rate case in Indiana, seeking our first base rate increase there in more than 25 years. In Maryland, we received approval of our base rate case settlement. And in Ohio, we filed a settlement agreement in our pending application for a