American Electric Power Co., Inc. (NYSE:AEP) Q2 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Jul 25, 2018 • 09:00 am ET
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the American Electric Power Second Quarter 2018 Earnings Call. At this time, all participants are in listen-only mode. Later, there'll be opportunity for your questions and instructions will be given at that time. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.
Now I will turn the conference over to Ms. Bette Jo Rozsa. Please go ahead.
Bette Jo Rozsa
Thank you, Paul. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the second quarter 2018 earnings call for American Electric Power. Thank you for taking the time to join us today. Our earnings release, presentation slides and related financial information are available on our website at aep.com. Today, we will be making forward-looking statements during the call. There are many factors that may cause future results to differ materially from these statements. Please refer to our SEC filings for a discussion of these factors.
Our presentation also includes references to non-GAAP financial information. Please refer to the reconciliation of the applicable GAAP measures provided in the appendix of today's presentation. Joining me this morning for opening remarks are Nick Akins, our Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer and Brian Tierney, our Chief Financial Officer. We will take your questions following their remarks.
I will now turn the call over to Nick.
Nicholas K. Akins
Thanks, Bette Jo. Good morning, everyone, and welcome again to AEP's second quarter 2018 earnings call. We just completed a very healthy second quarter financially primarily due to weather that continued strong economy in the regions of the country that we serve and further resolution of rate making activities. And, of course, while not complete yet, further approvals occurring -- have occurred regarding Wind Catcher that I'll cover later. The weather has been a significant story for the quarter.
In a nutshell, second quarter was bipolar with no spring. As further proof that we did not have a spring this year, get this, it's almost like a brainteaser, the second quarter 2018 was the fourth coldest second quarter and the second warmest second quarter in the AEP system in nearly 50 years, because winter went well into April and summer came early in May. So, we benefited from that from both angles. Additionally, regarding the economy in the service territory, the AEP service territory economy and load performance continues to be as strong as it has been in years.
Brian will be covering the weather and economic information in more detail later. With that said, we are reaffirming our guidance for the year of $3.75 per share to $3.95 per share and our 5% to 7% growth rate, and as we have said previously, this base plan does not include Wind Catcher. We are also today giving our first signal of 2021 capital budgets assuming no Wind Catcher to reinforce that our investment thesis as a foundational benchmark is and has been our continued guidance that reflects a long-term 5% to 7% growth rate.Getting to the financials for the quarter, we had strong