UGI Corporation (NYSE:UGI) Q2 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

May 03, 2018 • 09:00 am ET

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UGI Corporation (NYSE:UGI) Q2 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Executive
John L. Walsh

conditions. There's very strong demand for LNG peaking services in the mid-Atlantic and New England as LDCs and other large consumers seek supply solutions to ensure long term access to natural gas delivery capacity.

Our investment outlook for utilities remains very strong. We're deploying record levels of capital to address infrastructure needs while growing our customer base. Our goal is to ensure continue access to low cost natural gas for our core customers and provide access in previously unserved or underserved areas of the commonwealth. As I noted on our last call, we plan to deploy upwards of $1.2 billion in capital at the utilities over the next four years.

The AmeriGas team is doing a great job of utilizing their scale and operational capabilities as the nation's largest propane distributor to drive growth in their National Accounts and ACE Cylinder Exchange programs. As Jerry mentioned, volumes in the second quarter for our National Accounts customers were up 18%, while our ACE Cylinder Exchange volumes grew 15%.

We continue to be very pleased with the performance of our two most recent acquisitions in Europe, DVEP, the power and natural gas marketing unit in the Netherlands, and UniverGas, our initial investment in the Italian LPG market. I should also comment on the progress made on our integration activities in France related to our 2015 acquisition of Finagaz. Our integration program is now on final stages. Our team in France has done an outstanding job of achieving all the critical integration and performance milestones for Finagaz. We're approaching the three year anniversary of that strategic investment and we expect that our integration work will conclude on schedule this fiscal year.

As Kirk highlighted in his remarks, the combination of strong business unit operating performance and the beneficial impact of Tax Reform Legislation drove excellent financial performance for the quarter and enhanced our full-year outlook. As I mentioned at the beginning of the call, we are increasing our fiscal year adjusted EPS guidance range from $2.45 and $2.65 to a range of $2.70 to $2.80. This guidance reflects our strong operating performance of the first two quarters, as well as the benefits of Tax Reform and it excludes the impact of the non-cash charge related to trade names at AmeriGas that Jerry discussed in his remarks.

We have great confidence the ability of our teams to execute operationally and identify attractive growth investments that align with our business unit strategies. We're also excited about the long-term positive impact of the recent Tax Reform Legislation. These changes benefit companies who consistently invest in growth opportunities and also reward companies that have been prudent in managing their balance sheet. UGI fits both of these descriptions, so these benefits are very meaningful for us.

Our new CFO, Ted Jastrzebski will be joining the company in about three weeks and we look forward to introducing Ted to our investors of the course of the summer and fall.

Finally, I'd like to close up my remarks with a