Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE:SWX) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

May 08, 2018 • 01:00 pm ET

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Southwest Gas Corporation (NYSE:SWX) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Southwest Gas Holdings 2018 First Quarter Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a Question-and-Answer session and instruction will be given at that time. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, today's conference is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the call over to Mr. Ken Kenny, Vice President of Finance and Treasurer. Sir, you may begin.

Executive
Ken Kenny

Thank you, Victor. Welcome to Southwest Gas Holdings, Incs 2018 first quarter earnings conference call. As Victor stated, my name is Ken Kenny and I am the Vice President of Finance, Treasurer. Our conference call is being broadcast live over the Internet. For those of you who would like to access the webcast, please visit our website at www.swgasholdings.com and click on the Conference Call link. We have slides on the Internet, which can be accessed to follow our presentation.

Today, we have Mr. John P. Hester, President and Chief Executive Officer; Mr. Gregory J. Peterson, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; and Mr. Justin L. Brown, Senior Vice President, General Counsel of Southwest Gas Corporation; and other members of senior management to provide a brief overview of the company's operations and earnings ended March 31, 2018 and a full year outlook for 2018.

Our general practice is not to provide earnings projections, therefore, no attempt will be made to project earnings for 2018 rather the company will address those factors that may impact this coming year's earnings. Further, our lawyers have asked me to remind you that some of the information that will be discussed contains forward-looking statements. These statements are based on management's assumptions, which may or may not come true and you should refer to the language on Slide 3 in the press release and also our SEC filings for a description of the factors that may cause actual results to differ from our forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are made as of today and we assume no obligation to update any such statement.

With that said, I would like to turn the time over to John.

Executive
John Hester

Thanks, Ken. Turning to Slide number 4, first, I would like to touch on some highlights for the past year ended March 31. From a consolidated results perspective, we had record earnings per share of $4.23 and increased our dividend for the 12th straight year in a row to $2.08 a share. For the natural gas segment, we added 32,000 new customers. Net income increased by $51.5 million. We invested $591 million in capital to serve growth and improve safety and reliability of our gas distribution systems. And we issued $300 million in senior notes to facilitate ongoing capital investment. For the construction services segment, revenues increased by over $67 million. Net income grew to $34.7 million. The acquisition of New England Utility Constructors late last year is performing better than expected and we continue to be enthusiastic about the construction business performance prospects for