FirstEnergy Corp (NYSE:FE) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Nov 04, 2019 • 09:00 am ET


FirstEnergy Corp (NYSE:FE) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Greetings and welcome to the FirstEnergy Corp. Third Quarter 2019 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in listen-only mode. A brief question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation. [Operator Instructions] It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Irene Prezelj, Vice President, Investor Relations for FirstEnergy Corp. Thank you, Ms. Prezelj, you may now begin.

Irene M. Prezelj

Thanks, Rob. Welcome to our third quarter earnings call. Today, we will make various forward-looking statements regarding revenues, earnings performance, strategies and prospects. These statements are based on current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by such statements can be found on the Investors section of our website under the earnings information link and in our SEC filings.

We will also discuss certain non-GAAP financial measures. Reconciliations between GAAP and non-GAAP financial measures can be found on the FirstEnergy Investor Relations website along with the presentation, which supports today's discussion.

Participants in today's call include Chuck Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer; Steve Strah, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; and several other executives in the room who are available to participate in the Q&A session.

Now, I'll turn the call over to Chuck.

Charles E. Jones

Thank you, Irene and good morning, everyone. This morning we announced strong results for the third quarter, with GAAP earnings of $0.73 per share and operating earnings of $0.76 per share. Consistent with our nearly five-year track record of delivering on our commitments to you, our third quarter operating earnings exceeded the midpoint of our guidance range. As a reminder, when we held our second quarter call, we were waiting for a final outcome related to our Ohio Distribution Modernization Rider. Because of this, the third quarter guidance we provided to you included a $0.06 benefit from the DMR. While the right rider was ultimately removed from our Ohio rate plan, I'm pleased to say that we were able to offset its absence during the quarter through a combination of favorable weather compared to normal, the continued strong execution of our customer service oriented growth strategy and O&M discipline.

For the full year, we are narrowing our 2019 operating earnings guidance to $2.50 per share to $2.60 per share. This reflects our solid results year-to-date, as well as the absence of the DMR in the second half. We are also providing 2020 operating earnings guidance of $2.40 per share to $2.60 per share and affirming our projection for 6% to 8% of compound annual operating earnings growth from 2018 through 2021.

I know you're anxious for us to communicate both our CAGR and equity plans beyond the 2018 to 2021 time frame. We will provide this information as soon as it makes sense once we've completed our internal financial planning process. That should not be taken as any indication that either of these will ultimately be disappointing to the market. It's simply that I am very protective of our five-year track record of