PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 14, 2020 • 10:00 am ET


PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good morning and welcome to the PPL Corporation Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]

I would now like to turn the conference over to Andy Ludwig, Vice President of Investor Relations. Please go ahead, sir.

Andy Ludwig

Thank you, Rocco.

Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining the PPL conference call on fourth quarter and full year 2019 financial results. We've provided slides for this presentation and our earnings release issued this morning on the Investors section of our website.

Our presentation and earnings release, which we will discuss today during the call, contain forward-looking statements about future operating results or other future events. Actual results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements. Please refer to the appendix of this presentation and PPL's SEC filings for a discussion of factors that could cause actual results to differ from the forward-looking statements. We will also refer to earnings from ongoing operations or ongoing earnings, a non-GAAP measure, on this call. For reconciliation to the GAAP measure, you should refer to the appendix of this presentation and our earnings release.

I'll now turn the call over to Bill Spence, PPL Chairman and CEO.

William H. Spence

Thank you, Andy, and good morning, everyone.

We're pleased that you've joined us for our 2019 year-end earnings call. With me today are Vince Sorgi, PPL President and Chief Operating Officer, and Joe Bergstein, Chief Financial Officer.

Moving to slide 3. Our agenda this morning begins with an overview of 2019 results and PPL's business outlook for 2020. Vince will then review some of PPL's recent operational highlights and outlook for 2020 as well as discuss PPL's clean energy transition strategy, including our decision to set a more aggressive goal to reduce PPL's carbon emissions. Following Vince's remarks, Joe will provide a more detailed financial review of 2019 and 2020, along with our updated earnings forecast for 2021. I'll conclude by taking a few moments to highlight what has truly been a decade of transformation and growth for PPL and PPL's marking its 100th Anniversary thanks to our employees' hard work and dedication and the unparalleled support of our communities. As always, we'll leave ample time to answer your questions.

Turning to slide 4. In 2019, PPL continued to deliver on its commitments to shareowners, customers and the communities we serve. We remain steadfast in our strategy to deliver best in sector operational performance, invest in a sustainable energy future, provide superior customer service, maintain a strong financial foundation and engage and develop our people. Our results in 2019 reflect this strategy.

We exceeded the midpoint of our earnings guidance for the 10th straight year, delivering ongoing earnings of $2.45 per share. We remain committed to dividend growth, increasing our dividend for the 17th time in 18 years and returning more than $1 billion in dividends to shareowners.

As we delivered on these financial commitments, we continued to extend our track record of operational excellence. We maintained strong transmission and distribution reliability across all of our utilities. In addition, we