DTE Energy Company (NYSE:DTE) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Feb 07, 2019 • 09:00 am ET

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DTE Energy Company (NYSE:DTE) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good day, and welcome to the 2018 Year-End Earnings Conference call. Today's conference is being recorded. At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Barbara Tuckfield. Please go ahead.

Executive
Barbara Tuckfield

Thank you, Tracy, and good morning, everyone. Before we get started, I would like to remind everyone to read the Safe Harbor statement on page two of the presentation, including the reference to forward-looking statements. Our presentation also includes references to operating earnings, which is a non-GAAP financial measure. Please refer to the reconciliation of GAAP earnings to operating earnings provided in the appendix of today's presentation.

With us this morning are Gerry Anderson, Chairman and CEO; Jerry Norcia, President and COO; and Peter Oleksiak, Senior Vice President and CFO. We also have members of the management to call on during the question-and-answer period.

And now, I'll turn it over to Gerry to start the call.

Executive
Gerard Anderson

Thanks, Barb, and good morning, everyone. Thanks for joining us today. So this morning, I'm going to give you a recap of our 2018 performance and then I will turn it over to Peter, who will provide financial highlights and thoughts on our 2019 guidance, which we will reaffirm. And then finally, Jerry Norcia will provide an update on our long-term growth plan business unit by business unit, and he'll wrap things up and open it up for Q&A.

So turning to our 2018 accomplishments, and starting on slide four, we have a lot to be proud of as we look back on 2018 at DTE. We logged another strong financial year at DTE and made great progress on many other fronts as well. Our operating EPS was $6.30, that's 13% higher than 2017 and it's 9% higher than our original 2018 guidance. This is the 10th consecutive year that we've exceeded our earnings guidance. Our cash flow came in 500 million above our plan, which sets us up nicely for 2019, providing a lot of balance sheet flexibility. We also increased the dividend by 7% and are coming into this year and we'll target 7% dividend growth through 2020. We certainly recognize the importance of that sort of dividend growth in delivering premium shareholder returns to you.

Our employee and customer and community initiatives also achieved strong results in 2018, and I'll touch on those in a bit more detail in few minutes. With the new year underway, I'm also confident that we are set up well for success in 2019, I feel really good about the plan that we put together for the year and a month in, I feel good about how 2019 is starting for us. For example, NEXUS announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Generation Pipeline, which is a 355 million cubic feet a day pipeline that provides future growth opportunities for NEXUS in the area around Toledo in Northern Ohio. This is a great fit for our GSP business and it's representative of the bolt-on asset acquisitions that are available to NEXUS, and