NextEra Energy Earnings Call Nuggets: 2013 Drivers and New Investments

NextEra Energy Inc (NYSE:NEE) recently reported its fourth quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

2013 Drivers

Daniel Eggers – Credit Suisse: Moray, can you just talk a little more about some of the ’13 drivers, the plant you guys are (indiscernible) place, talk about them versus at the Analyst Day just kind of some of the big pieces that will affect things obviously, normalization of wind asset performance is a pretty big driver, year-on-year the resource additions, but what else we will be thinking about?

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Moray P. Dewhurst – Vice Chairman and CFO: Well, I think we laid out kind of the details on the Energy Resources side in the third quarter call. There is a chart in there. I have to try and recall all specifics, but the main differences in the dynamics between ‘12 and ‘13 are that we do not expect to have the same degree of either hedge roll-off or PTC rolloffs so we don’t have that drag. We will see relatively speaking more of a contribution from the growth in new assets obviously with over 1200 MWs of wind going in the fourth quarter that didn’t have much of an impact on 2012 results but those assets will have a full-year for 2013. Certainly, we anticipate as we always do a return to kind of normal weather and operating conditions, so those should be net positive relative to this year. And the rest of the pieces on the resources side, I think should be relatively small there will be a little bit of an increase from CITC, we have got 300 MWs of solar that we will expect to be electing CITC on but that’s not a huge amount. So, that’s the Energy Resources side and then on the FPL side really it’s the continuation of where we have been for the last couple of years. We continue to invest very heavily albeit not at the same rate as the 4 billion in 2012. But growth in capital employed assuming that we can manage our cost structure effectively which was certainly committed to doing should translate into strong growth in earnings.

Daniel Eggers – Credit Suisse: You certainly going to earn the mid-point of your ROE at the utility?

Moray P. Dewhurst – Vice Chairman and CFO: We certainly hope we tend to be able to do better than that, but as I indicated in the prepared remarks that’s going to take a lot of work on our part. We are busily ginning up ideas and I think we’ll be in a position to share more of ideas at the March conference. So, I don’t have anything specific I can share with you, but we are very proud of our long-term cost track record, our O&M cents per kWh, but again as I indicated in the prepared remarks, we have seen some upward pressures in nominal terms. So, we are definitely going to be taking a fresh look at really all aspects that drive productivity and efficiency. Obviously, the structure of a four-year agreement, one of the values of this agreement and past agreements is it provides an appropriate set of incentives. So, benefits that we can create can be a value to shareholders, but also a future value to customers. So, we are going to be working very hard on that.

Daniel Eggers – Credit Suisse: Just one last one for Armando or Jim, wonder if you can talk about kind of how the process or work for identifying wind for ’13/’14 to get built in kind of where the customer interest is on moving projects for now it looks there is another year or two of life back in the PTC program?

Armando Pimentel – President and CEO, NextEra Energy Resources, LLC: Another year or two of life, I like that. Dan, the process is actually going to be very similar to what we’ve done in the past. We’ve – at the beginning of the year or certainly at the beginning of the last couple of years, we go out and we meet with customers. We need to make sure that there is customer demand and there is no better indication of that and customers that are willing to sign long-term power purchase agreements. So we’re in the process of doing that. We have fielded several inbound calls, so it’s not just us or the other developers that clearly are excited about the passage of PTC legislation. We’ve got a number of customers that were waiting for something to happen and now it’s happened, and they are busily making calls. So, I would say over the next two to three months, it’s a lot of customer visits, it’s a lot of additional development on some projects that we put on hold last year. But I think as we said before, as an industry, we certainly expect 2013 to be a down year. This PTC extension well received by us, but very late in the game and therefore a number of customers, our customers and other customers, bought wind last year in anticipation of potentially not having a PTC extension in ’13 or ’14. But also there was a bunch of developers, obviously, that brought projects in earlier. So it’s going to be a down year, but I think after the first quarter, certainly after the first four months of the year, we’ll be in a much better position to understand what begin of construction means and what we might be able to do for 2013 and ’14.

Moray P. Dewhurst – Vice Chairman and CFO: Dan, again, hopefully we can share more of our thoughts at the Investor Conference.

New Investments

Stephen Byrd – Morgan Stanley: On Slide 25 you lay out the performance of resources by business unit relative to the 2011 expectations. One on the high end the performance was the new investment category at $200 million. Could you just touch a little bit on what was the driver for the strong performance on new investments?

Moray P. Dewhurst – Vice Chairman and CFO: Stephen, I don’t know that there was anything in particular. I think we were at the top end of where we expected to be. The things came in on time on the early side. I guess I should turn the question over to Armando because he is probably more familiar with it.

Armando Pimentel – President and CEO, NextEra Energy Resources, LLC: A couple of things. One of them was we did have an acquisition last year that we certainly don’t plan for acquisitions. We are always working on asset acquisitions, but we had a nice one – 160 MW, 165 MW acquisition roughly, $300 million or so. That was the Cimarron acquisition that we talked about. But in addition there were some power purchase agreements that came to fruition very late in 2011. I actually think maybe one or two in January or February of 2012 that we did not expect when we first put the information together. So that’s it really. It’s the acquisition of couple more wind projects that got us that additional gross margin.

Stephen Byrd – Morgan Stanley: And just looking at the performance for 2012, there was some income from gains on disposal of assets. Does that have any relevance going forward, or can you provide a little more color on that?

Moray P. Dewhurst – Vice Chairman and CFO: Stephen, I’m not sure which piece you’re referring to, so let me give you the whole story. If you look at the GAAP income statement, you’ll see a fairly substantial number. There’s really three pieces in that number. There’s a small amount which is actually associated with disposal of a couple of small physical assets. That’s the $0.03 that we discussed in the drivers, so that’s pretty small. Virtually all the rest is associated with gains on the Energy Resources decommissioning trust and that in turn is divided into two roughly equal parts; roughly half of that actually slightly more than half of it close to 70 million pre-tax is simply associated with the reversal of OTTI losses that we previously excluded from adjusted income. So those are – the gains there are also excluded from adjusted income. So, the remainder which is about 60 million pre-tax is just the gains associated with the normal management of the Energy Resources decommissioning trust. So it’s important to recognize that those trusts have grown significantly over the years at the end of the year they were worth about $1.3 billion and obviously 2012 was a good investment performance year, I think the actual return on the portfolio was something in the order of 12%. So as those investment returns move up or down, we will see some variability in the Energy Resources income, I think, if I recall correctly about – a swing of about 4% in the realized return would correspond to about $0.01 PPS.

Stephen Byrd – Morgan Stanley: So, that does have an impact going forward just depending on the level of performance of that fund?

Moray P. Dewhurst – Vice Chairman and CFO: That’s correct.

A Closer Look: NextEra Energy Earnings Cheat Sheet>>