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
Executive
Joseph Hamrock

East and Columbia Gas of Ohio was number four in the Midwest. Our strong performance across the board demonstrates continued progress on our commitment to top-tier customer satisfaction.

Now let's turn to our Electric Operations on slide seven. We continue to execute on our long-term electric infrastructure modernization program, which includes enhancements to electric transmission and distribution infrastructure designed to improve system safety and reliability. Approximately $1.25 billion of investments are planned through 2022. And just yesterday, we received IURC approval of our second semiannual tracker update request, which covers about $133 million in investments made from May 2016 through April 2017. Our two major electric transmission projects remain on schedule with anticipated in-service dates in mid-2018. The 100-mile 345 kV and 65-mile 765 kV projects are designed to enhance region-wide system flexibility and reliability.

Substation line and tower construction continues to progress for both projects. And our environmental settlement agreement seeking approval and cost recovery for investments related to limiting coal ash emissions from certain units at our Michigan City and Schahfer Generating Stations remains pending before the IURC. The settlement also calls for moving additional investments designed to reduce these units' impact on local waterways to a later proceeding. An IURC order on the CCR settlement is expected before the end of the year.

As we wrap up today, just some key takeaways before opening the call to your questions. NiSource's long-term utility infrastructure modernization programs continue to create value for customers and communities while also driving solid financial performance for our shareholders.

For 2017, we continue to expect to deliver non-GAAP net operating earnings in the range of $1.17 to $1.20 per share and to complete $1.6 billion to $1.7 billion in capital investments. We remain on track to execute against our more than $30 billion in identified long-term investment opportunities. We're initiating 2018 non-GAAP net operating earnings guidance of $1.26 to $1.32 per share in 2018 capital investment guidance of $1.7 billion to $1.8 billion. With our robust investment plans, we continue to expect to grow both operating earnings and our dividend by 5% to 7% annually through 2020 while maintaining our investment-grade credit ratings.

Thank you all for participating today and for your ongoing interest in and support of NiSource. Now let's open the call to your questions. Alex?