Ameren Corporation (NYSE:AEE) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript
May 09, 2018 • 10:00 am ET
Greetings, and welcome to the Ameren Corporation First Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. At this time all participants are in a listen only mode. A brief question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation. (Operator Instructions). As a reminder, this conference is being recorded. It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Doug Fischer, Senior Director of Investor Relations for Ameren Corporation. Thank you, sir. You may begin.
Thank you, and good morning. On the call with me today are Warner Baxter, our Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer; and Marty Lyons, our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; as well as other members of the Ameren management team. Warner and Marty will discuss our earnings results and guidance as well as provide a business update. Then we will open the call for questions. Before we begin, let me cover a few administrative details. This call contains time-sensitive data that is accurate only as of the date of today's live broadcast, and redistribution of this broadcast is prohibited.
To assist with our call this morning, we have posted a presentation on the amereninvestors.com website home page that will be referenced by our speakers. As noted on Page 2 of the presentation, comments made during this conference call may contain statements that are commonly referred to as forward-looking statements. Such statements include those about future expectations, beliefs, plans, strategies, objectives, events, conditions and financial performance. We caution you that various factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. For additional information concerning these factors, please read the Forward-Looking Statement section in the news release we issued today and the Forward-Looking Statements and Risk Factors sections in our filings with the SEC.
Now here's Warner, who will start on Page 4 of the presentation.
Thanks, Doug. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us. Earlier today, we announced first quarter 2018 earnings of $0.62 per share compared to $0.42 per share earned in the first quarter of 2017. The year-over-year increase of $0.20 per share was driven by higher Ameren Missouri electric service rates effective April 1, 2017, as well as higher Ameren Missouri electric retail sales, primarily due to colder winter temperatures this year compared to the very mild temperatures experienced in the year-ago period.
In addition, the comparison benefited from earnings on increased infrastructure investments made at Ameren Transmission, Ameren Illinois Electric Distribution and Ameren Illinois Natural Gas. Marty will discuss these and other factors driving the quarterly results in more detail in a moment.
I am also pleased to report that we remain on track to deliver strong earnings results in 2018 in the range of $2.95 per share to $3.15 per share. We continue to focus on executing our strategic plan, which includes operating our businesses safely, while strategically allocating capital and exercising disciplined cost management.
Moving to Page 5. Here we reiterate our strategic plan, which we have been executing very well over the last several years. That plan is expected to continue