Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 13, 2020 • 10:00 am ET

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Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good day and welcome to the Duke Energy Fourth Quarter Earnings Call. Today's conference is being recorded and at this time, I'd like to turn the conference over to Bryan Buckler, Vice President of Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.

Executive
Bryan Buckler

Great, thank you, Derek. Good morning everyone and welcome to Duke Energy's fourth quarter 2019 earnings review and business update. Leading our call today is Lynn Good, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer along with Steve Young, Executive Vice President and CFO. Today's discussion will include the use of non-GAAP financial measures and forward-looking information. Slide 2 presents our Safe Harbor statement and reconciliation of non-GAAP financial measures can be found in today's materials and on dukeenergy.com. Please note the appendix for today's presentation includes supplemental information and additional disclosures. With that, let me turn the call over to Lynn.

Executive
Lynn J. Good

Bryan, thank you and good morning everyone. Today we announced 2019 adjusted earnings per share of $5.06, representing 7% growth over last year and solidly within the 4% to 6% earnings guidance range from the 2017 base year. 2019 also marked our 93rd consecutive year paying a quarterly dividend to our shareholders. We recognize that consistent growth in earnings and dividends are important to our investors and we are delivering. I'm very proud of our employees' commitment and hard work throughout the year. We achieved these financial results while maintaining our focus on the customer. Our reliability statistics improved by 15% and our internal customer satisfaction metrics improved 25%, a clear indication that we are enhancing the customer experience. The foundation of outstanding service territories and ample low-risk investment opportunities to benefit our customers gives us great confidence in the strength of our business into 2020 and beyond. We have introduced a guidance range of $5.05 to $5.45 with a midpoint of $5.25, reflecting solid 5% growth into 2020. We have also extended our EPS growth target of 4% to 6% through 2024 built on an expanded capital program.

Slide 4 outlines the drivers and opportunities for expanding infrastructure in our jurisdictions. Our service territories are thriving. The Carolinas and Florida lead the East Coast in population growth driving strong economies and energy infrastructure needs. GDP growth projections for those areas as well as Nashville, Tennessee also exceed the national average. To meet the needs of our customers in these regions, we have a $56 billion capital plan over the next five years, 90% of which will be deployed in our regulated electric and gas LDC businesses and drive earnings base growth from transparent low-risk investments. Compared to our previous plan, the new plan represents a 12% increase and a projected $6 billion increase in our earnings base by 2024. These capital investments represent an excellent foundation to extend our 4% to 6% growth rate through 2024. Steve will provide more detail and the five-year capital plan in a moment.

We are proud of the work we do to power the lives of our customers. We support the health and prosperity