PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG) Q3 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Nov 02, 2017 • 11:00 am ET


PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG) Q3 2017 Earnings Conference Call Transcript


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Good morning, and welcome to the PG&E Q3 2017 Earnings Conference Call. (Operator Instructions)

At this time, I would like to introduce your host, Chris Foster. Thank you and enjoy your conference. You may proceed, Mr. Foster.

Chris Foster

Thank you, Jackie, and thanks to those of you on the phone for joining us this morning.

(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements) With that, I'll hand it over, Geisha.

Geisha Williams

Thank you, Chris, and good morning, everyone. Given the recent wildfires impacting our customers and communities, our discussion today will be different from our usual earnings call.

This morning, I will update you on what we currently know about the fires and I'll describe our restoration activities. I will address the efforts to identify the causes of the fires and provide an overview of the process from here. I'll also talk about how we're working to protect the safety of our customers and communities as we see this trend toward more extreme weather events continuing to increase. Jason will walk you through the financials of the quarter, and then I'll provide a few closing remarks, and then we'll take your questions.

I want to start by sharing what we know about the extraordinary nature of the fires that swept across Northern California a few weeks ago. On October 8th and 9th, PG&E service area experienced a wind event without precedent with some recorded wind gust exceeding 75 miles per hour. Numerous meteorologists have addressed the extraordinary nature of the weather condition, with one commenting that it produced extreme winds beyond contemporary experience. These destructive winds impacted an area with trees weakened by years of drought and other environmental factors.

Additionally, heavy rain and snow storms last winter brought renewed vegetation growth. But with the heat waves of the summer and fall, this vegetation dried out again, creating an abundant source of fuel. Several wildfires struck at night and spread quickly and they burned for days. Before the fires were fully contained, I met with community leaders and our team members in Napa and Santa Rosa, two of the hardest hit areas, and I had an opportunity to see the damage.

What I can sell you is during my two decades in Florida, I worked through many major hurricanes, and I've seen firsthand the destruction that hurricane force winds can bring to a community, but this was like nothing I've ever seen. The fast-moving fires brought expansive devastation and left little standing in their path. Many communities and families experienced catastrophic losses. Numerous lives were lost and several thousand people lost homes and businesses.

The people impacted are our neighbors, our friends and family, our own employees and, of course, our customers. And I want to extend our deepest sympathies to all of them. I also want to acknowledge the thousands of firefighters involved in the response and recovery efforts. I thank them and other first responders, including our own, for their heroic efforts. From the earliest hours, we maintained a singular focus on the life, safety, and