Avista Corp. (NYSE:AVA) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Feb 08, 2019 • 10:30 am ET


Avista Corp. (NYSE:AVA) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript


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Good morning, and welcome to the Fourth Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. My name is Brandon, and I will be your operator for today. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) Please note, this conference is being recorded.

And I will now turn it over to Jason Lang. You may begin, sir.

Jason Lang

Thank you, Brandon. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to Avista's Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2018 Earnings Conference Call. Our earnings were released premarket this morning and are available on our website.

Joining me this morning are Avista Corp. Chairman of the Board and CEO, Scott Morris; Senior Vice President and CFO, Mark Thies; Avista Corp. President, Dennis Vermillion; Vice President, External Affairs and Chief Customer Officer, Kevin Christie; and Vice President and Controller, Ryan Krasselt.

I would like to remind everyone that some of the statements that will be made today are forward-looking statements that involve assumptions, risks and uncertainties, which are subject to change. For reference to the various factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in today's call, please refer to our 10-K for 2017 and 10-Q for the third quarter of 2018, which are available on our website.

To begin this presentation, I would like to recap the financial results presented in today's press release. Our consolidated earnings for the fourth quarter of 2018 were $0.70 per diluted share compared to $0.42 for the fourth quarter of 2017. For the full year, consolidated earnings were $2.07 per diluted share for 2018 compared to $1.79 last year.

Now, I'll turn the discussion over to Scott.

Scott Morris

Well, thank you, Jason; and good morning, everyone. To start off, I want to express my deepest gratitude to everyone who worked with us on the Hydro One transaction over the last 18 months. Throughout this process, we were able to achieve remarkable collaboration with the various parties involved, including the staffs in Washington, Idaho and Oregon, public counsel in Washington as well as the parties in Montana and Alaska, just to name a few. And because of this joint effort by all parties, we were able to reach agreements that were unprecedented in our industry.

We were committed to ensuring the transaction would best serve the interest of our stakeholders, and the agreements reflected this commitment. And while we're disappointed that we were not successful in obtaining timely regulatory approval, I want to celebrate the tremendous effort by everyone involved. The agreements that we reached emphasized our values and as a company -- and as who we are as a company, dedicated to innovative thinking and serving the interest of all of our stakeholders, our customers, our employees, our communities and our shareholders. The agreements reached contain unprecedented safeguards and outstanding benefits to all our stakeholders. We believe the agreements would have allowed us to operate as an independent utility, and continue to provide the same level of service.

Hydro One would have been