Evergy, Inc. (NYSE:EVRG) Q3 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Nov 07, 2019 • 10:00 am ET
Ladies and gentlemen,thank you for standing by and welcome to the Third Quarter 2019 Evergy Incorporated Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions].
I would now like to hand the call over to your speaker today, Lori Wright. Thank you. And please go ahead, ma'am.
Thank you, Lauren. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to Evergy's third quarter call. Thank you for joining us this morning. Today's discussion will include forward-looking information. Slide 2 and the disclosure in our SEC filings contain a list of some of the factors that could cause future results to differ materially from our expectations and include additional information on non-GAAP financial measures. We issued our third quarter 2019 earnings release and 10-Q after market close yesterday. These items are available along with today's webcast slides and supplemental financial information for the quarter on the main page of our website at evergyinc.com.
On the call today we have Terry Bassham, President and Chief Executive Officer and Tony Somma, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Other members of management are with us and will be available during the question-and-answer portion of the call. As summarized on slide 3, Terry will recap the quarter and provide a business update. Tony will update you on the details of our latest financial results.
With that, I'll hand the call to Terry.
Thanks, Lori, and good morning, everybody. I will begin on slide 5. So last night we reported third quarter GAAP earnings of $1.56 per share compared to $1.32 per share earned in the third quarter of 2018. Adjusted earnings per share were $1.57 in third quarter 2019 compared to $1.38 per share in the same period a year ago. Third quarter results were driven by favorable weather, fewer shares outstanding and rate case outcomes, partially offset by higher depreciation. Year-to-date, GAAP earnings per share were $2.49 compared to $2.61 in the same period last year. Adjusted EPS were $2.55 this year compared to $2.36 a year ago, largely driven by significant cost reduction efforts and fewer shares outstanding, partially offset by unfavorable weather.
It's important to recognize that within results year-to-date, we've been able to manage cost impacts of two unfavorable regulatory outcomes and still remain on pace for the year. Our ability to overcome these headwinds and deliver another solid quarter enables us to confirm our 2019 adjusted EPS guidance of $2.80 to $3. Consistent with our call in August, we're making good progress executing our strategic priorities and continue to be confident with our plan. Last night, we increased our dividend to an indicated annualized rate of $2.02 per share. This represents a 6.3% increase from our previous dividend rate and reflects the Board's confidence in our business plan as well as our commitment to deliver on it.
Today, I'd like to provide two additional updates on key parts of our plan. First on merger savings. As of the end of the third quarter, our merger savings continue to track above our initial targets. As you recall, we've been