Westar Energy's (WR) CEO Mark Ruelle on Q1 2014 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

May. 8.14 | About: Westar Energy, (WR)

Westar Energy, Inc. (NYSE:WR)

Q1 2014 Earnings Conference Call

May 8, 2014 10:00 AM ET

Executives

Bruce R. Burns – Director-Investor Relations

Mark A. Ruelle – President and Chief Executive Officer

Anthony D. Somma – Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

Analysts

Greg Gordon – International Strategy & Investment Group LLC

Michael Weinstein – UBS Securities LLC

Brian J. Russo – Ladenburg Thalmann & Co., Inc.

Andy S. Levi – Avon Capital Advisors LLC

Travis Miller – Morningstar Research

Sarah E. Akers – Wells Fargo Securities LLC

Operator

Good day ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for standing by. Welcome to Westar Energy First Quarter 2014 Conference Call with Bruce Burns, Director of Investor Relations. My name is Marie, and I will be your operator for today. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question-and-answer session and instructions will follow at that time. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

I would now like to hand the call over to Bruce Burns. Please proceed.

Bruce R. Burns

Thank you, Marie. Good morning, and welcome to our first quarter call. Last night, we filed our 10-Q along with the earnings release and supplemental materials, which can be found under the Investors section of our website at westarenergy.com.

Some of our remarks will be forward-looking. so I’ll remind you of uncertainties inherent in our comments this morning and in some of the statements found in the earnings release and accompanying materials. Factors that could cause our future results to differ from what we discuss today include those listed under the – in the 10-Q under the Forward-Looking Statements and under Risk Factors in the 10-K. We encourage you to read the full disclosure in the 10-Q and in the earnings materials, both of which are available on the website. The earnings materials also reflect how we reconcile our gross margin presentation with GAAP earnings.

Commenting this morning will be our CFO, Tony Somma; and our President and CEO, Mark Ruelle. We have other members of our team that with us, should you have questions. Tony will offer highlights on the quarter, comment on financing plans and address guidance. He’ll also address our earnings outlook and growth estimates. Mark will refresh you on our regulatory plans and make some observations about our business.

With that, I’ll turn the call over to Tony.

Anthony D. Somma

Thanks, Bruce. Good morning. We’re off to a great start to the year with $0.53 of earnings for the quarter, well above last year’s $0.40. Gross margin was up 15% due to colder weather and price increases. We estimate weather added about $0.04 when compared to both normal and last year. Industrial sales continue to show improvement, up 2% over last year with most sectors showing increases.

Peers not in for the quarter that’s typically so small, it doesn’t matter the attention, energy marketing. Recall that we’re long generation and as such are typically a net seller into the wholesale market. As this group goes about those purchases and sales for our needs, we’re going to cause opportunities in that space that provides incremental margin that for the last several years announced only a couple of cents for the entire year. In the first quarter, however, through a combination of the polar vortex and price volatility, they were able to produce about $0.01. This is an area we’re looking to grow, but we’ll take the benefit when the opportunities are there.

Turning to expenses, combined O&M and SG&A was up shortly 11%, so that was according to plan. The timing of the couple large items is still heavily to the early part of the year. Major changes for the quarter were $7 million of higher cost of Wolf Creek was consist of about $5.5 million for the plant maintenance outage that began in early March. It was a long outage for lots of work, but the plant should be back on line this week and $1.5 million, higher amortization from last year’s refuel outage.

In addition, we have $3.5 million of higher employee benefit costs, most of which is due to last year’s lower than normal expense, as a result of our having favorably restructured contracts last year to fund these benefits. Income taxes increased 40%, a reflection of the higher taxable income for the quarter. I know you are attempting to hearing this from us, but we still feel good ensuring that our major projects, the SCR Jeffrey, La Cygne air quality retrofit, our Prairie Wind and Elm Creek lines all continue to be on or better than budget and scheduled, two of them the Jeffrey SCR and the Prairie Wind line will be completed this year.

Turning to our financing plans, in light of favorable interest rates, we will be refinancing $178 million of pollution control bonds, that today have an average rate of about 5.2%. We’ll also soon refinance $250 million of 6% first mortgage bonds due July 1. Beyond that, other than settling about 3 million shares from forward sales, we already priced last year, that’s the financing plans for the year. If you aren’t aware, last week we were pleased to see S&P raised our bond ratings to eight, recognizing our improved financial profile.

Turning to guidance, we have more good news. As you know, we have a recent history of meeting or exceeding guidance, in light of our strong year-to-date results, last night, we boosted the range by $0.01, now it’s $2.30 to $2.45. Given the strong year-to-date results, we’ll invest about $15 million more O&M for generation reliability and great resiliency.

We posted updated drivers on our website that identify among other things changes to AFUDC, depreciation and interest charges for the year. We expect this year’s performance to be a good start to a five-year targeted EPS growth rate of 4% to 6% with 2013 normalized EPS as the base.

With that, let me turn the things over to Mark.

Mark A. Ruelle

Good morning and thank you for joining us. As Tony said, we’re off to a good start by raising guidance and keeping our major projects on track both the schedule and budget.

I’m pleased we’re in the position to step up some reliability spending to help enhance good resilience without sacrificing our financial plans for the year. Regulatory activities too are proceeding according to plan. We filed the update to our transmission delivery charge in February. And though the KCC hasn’t yet issued the final order, we began collecting it last month.

In March, we filed the update to our environmental rider. Last week, the KCC staff, hey that’s okay, we expect new rates to be in effect June 1. No change for our plans next year, we still expect to file the 2015 general rate case to recover the balance of our La Cygne retrofit, as well as update things more generally.

We filed a case spring of 2015 and expect new rates beginning of 2016. Let me update some few topics getting some recent attention, mass compliance, return of Casper and transmission opportunities under Order 1000. As we’ve said for sometime now, we don’t do matters, all that problematic for Westar. and as a result don’t see the court of appeal decision is significant. Our air quality upgrades have already incorporated the likely required mercury and other mass reductions.

Having allowed for that is the reason our estimate for mass compliance is less than $20 million. We also don’t expect the Supreme Court reversal of the Casper matter to be problematic, though we’re still evaluating the details. You may recall our objection when it was first introduced wasn’t the level of emissions, rather the short timeframe with which to comply. Since that time, the process of retrofitting our plans has put us in a good position. we’ll be watching closely how EPA goes about reinstating the rule, including timing.

Turing to transmission, the Southwest Power Pool is now incorporating Order 1000 in these plans. The SPP is just starting the process of identifying who will build what. the first big news will be next January when the SPP Board identifies projects to be approved in both their near-term and 10-year plans. Right after that, SPP will initiate an RFP for those projects. It looks like it will be mid-2015 before any of the approved competitive projects will be assigned. In anticipation, we formed the transmission subsidiary as a vehicle to compete for those projects, both in our footprint and the broader region.

Keep in mind that any competitive projects we win will be in addition to the billion dollars or so of transmission investment; already included in our five-year plan, what’s already in our five-year plan is not contestable under Order 1000. There has been some recent attention about a couple of utility issues brought up during the Kansas legislated session. Let me update you on those. the potential appeal of the renewable energy standard and net metering, the movement to repeal or modify the renewable energy standard in Kansas was repeated. We were more than meeting the requirement today and we’re not concerned about meeting the future requirements, accordingly, we stayed on the side lines on that one. Renewable energy in Kansas wind is abundant and relatively inexpensive; it’s just not a problem for us.

In regard to that meeting, however, we sponsored the amendment to help make sure the distributed generation customers pay their first share of the grid costs. Among other things, the new law allows the KCC to set rates for DG customers and reduces the payment for excess power from those customers to our awarded cost, which is only about $0.02. we go past and the governor has already signed it.

Turning to the economy, things look good Kansas unemployment remains less than 5% as Tony mentioned industrial sales were up 2% with broad contribution across most sectors. We saw good increases from food processing, commercial aviation continues improving with a strong backlog, and we even see improvement in basic metals, plus we still have additional pipeline load that will come on later this year and in the next. I’m pleased to share overall industrial sales are right in line with plan.

Lastly, I would like to share my thoughts on our long-term earnings growth target. For those familiar with us, we know we take the long view of creating value for both customers and shareholders. Over the last half dozen years, we’ve had one of the largest CapEx programs relative to our market cap in the industry. And as a result, have been a serial issue of new shares.

Nevertheless, we executed the program to result in a very strong EPS growth the past few years. We’re now entering a period with even better balance, though CapEx still remain strong, we’ll position for that growth without having these unit shares. Let me restate, we are growing not shrinking and we’re doing so without having to issue new shares.

We think some of the public estimates were missing this. so we’ve issued an EPS growth target of 4% to 6% to make it clear, where investor is still seeking a traditional utility investment with a straightforward business plan, good growth, sensible regulation and a growing dividend, Westar gets the bill.

We’re now ready for your questions from the financial community. Members of the media, if you have questions, we invite you to contact Gina Penzig. Gina’s number is 785-575-8089. So Marie, would you open the line for question, please?

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

(Operator Instructions) And we have our first and it comes from the line of Greg Gordon from ISI Group. Please proceed.

Mark A. Ruelle

Good morning, Greg.

Greg Gordon – International Strategy & Investment Group LLC

Good morning, guys. How are you?

Mark A. Ruelle

Good.

Greg Gordon – International Strategy & Investment Group LLC

Tell Greg Greenwood to keep on bringing those projects under budget for us, okay?

Mark A. Ruelle

I think he is in the room you can tell.

Anthony D. Somma

Thank you, Greg.

Greg Gordon – International Strategy & Investment Group LLC

Okay. Can you restate what you said with regard to your transmission CapEx plans, so I am looking at page 26 of your April investor deck? And you have a CapEx plan for transmission that goes out for 2018 that grows from $175 million this year, I’ve on the bar up to little $225 million in ’17 and then ebbs a little bit, were you saying that plan will be reevaluated and updated post this January SPP announcement then it will potentially go up. So, what are ranges of opportunity there?

Anthony D. Somma

Sure, let me state at this way, what is already in that five-year plan you’re looking at, are projects we are proceeding with, that we plan to do and that we essentially already have all the authority to do them, they’re not contestable under Order 1000. In the Southwest Power Pool there are certain projects that are not competitive, and projects that are competitive. If you’re doing the lower-voltage projects or you’re just rebuilding some of your own systems, those are not competitive and are not subject to that being lost to somebody else who wants to do them. What is in our five-year plan is not contestable. Any of the projects that we are in under the competitive protocols would be incremental to that. In terms of the opportunities that drag it, it just depends on how many of those projects the SPP approves and how many were successful and winning.

I think the first you would see us update those projects with that schedule rather for incremental competitive editions would be mid-2015, when the SPP orders are assigning those competitive projects to somebody else. In terms of an estimated of that, we really don’t have one. We’re well suited to compete. We’re going to compete hard. We won’t have our winners first. We’re not going to take projects to display value, but we’re more than expecting to add value with incremental projects through that, but in terms of the amount, they would be speculating, maybe guess as to what that is.

Greg Gordon – International Strategy & Investment Group LLC

Okay. Tony, can you clear out for us, what your sort of share count looks like today, what it’s going to look like over the next year or two, as you settle these existing forward commitments, and then sort of when you get to a point where your share count is stable and there’s no additional equity as per the guidance from – that we just got on the earnings growth rate?

Anthony D. Somma

Sure, Greg. We’re about 120 – 129 million shares today, and when we settle the balance of the shares and look forward for this year that we have to settle, will be around an average share count this year behind 30 million shares. And then around or shortly thereafter of our rate case filing will settle the remaining 8.9 million shares from the secondary offering that we priced in the September last year.

Greg Gordon – International Strategy & Investment Group LLC

Okay. So you will be at 140 million shares as we run out into 2016?

Anthony D. Somma

Roughly, yes.

Greg Gordon – International Strategy & Investment Group LLC

And then from there your goal is to not issue any new equity?

Anthony D. Somma

Yes, correct.

Greg Gordon – International Strategy & Investment Group LLC

Okay. Thank you, guys. Have a good day.

Anthony D. Somma

You’re welcome.

Mark A. Ruelle

You’re welcome.

Operator

Okay, thank you. And our next question comes from the line of Michael Weinstein from UBS. Please proceed.

Michael Weinstein – UBS Securities LLC

Hi, guys.

Mark A. Ruelle

Good morning, Mike.

Michael Weinstein – UBS Securities LLC

All right, just a follow-up on those questions. The – in January when they released the – identify the targeted projects, could that lead to a, I guess an update of the non-contestable target – non-contestable projects?

Mark A. Ruelle

No.

Michael Weinstein – UBS Securities LLC

No. all right. And beyond that also with after 2016, I know you guys talked about having emphasizing the dividend as an important component of the investment thesis, and I’m just wondering if stock buyback can also been an important component?

Mark A. Ruelle

Well, what we said about the dividend is very consistent in a year-to-year quarter-to-quarter, but are we stating in case anybody is new on the call. We have a target long-term payout ratio 60% to 75%, well we were in the mixed of a very large construction program, and we’re biased to be in the lower end of that range. This year you can see that, with guidance we’re at a very lot – other maybe even prove it depending on how things fro now.

So we see opportunities in the future to grow our dividend as our earnings grow, and still not have to change our target payout ratio. We got a lot of room in that target range and at this point, we see that is a great opportunity, we haven’t speculated as to some time in the future whether there would be a better opportunity for buybacks and a little dividend growth, but if you look at our investor base Michael those are a lot of folks that appreciate dividends and we appreciate that they appreciate dividends. And that’s really our focus.

Michael Weinstein – UBS Securities LLC

Okay. One last question, could you just talk a little bit more about the competitive advantage you have in terms of the competitive projects, competitive transmission later on? Your familiarity with the data campus exciting worth kind of thing?

Mark A. Ruelle

Sure, the Southwest Power Pool has a set of criteria that they’re still refining that establish who wins these projects. And there’s a number of dimensions, but a couple of them really standout well for Westar. Some of them have to do frankly with bringing projects in, on time, on schedule, on budget, bringing projects and to solve the reported solutions. And those are all good things to Westar and lineup wells in our camp. Our folks are good at identifying projects that need to be done, it’s all problems. As Greg just indicated, we’ve kind of great history of getting projects done on timeline budget or frankly better than budget.

In addition, projects in Kansas still have to have exciting authority to a single entity and that’s a Kansas Corporation Commission. We have worked constructively with the Kansas Corporation Commission to sell problem to bring the land owners and environmental advocates on our side finding good solutions that are win, win, win across the state. Those are the things, I think that are line up in our call.

Michael Weinstein – UBS Securities LLC

All right, thank you very much.

Mark A. Ruelle

Thank you.

Operator

Okay, thank you. And our next question comes from [Shah Parivar] (ph) from Citigroup. Please proceed.

Unidentified Analyst

Good morning guys, Tony and Mark.

Mark A. Ruelle

Good morning.

Anthony D. Somma

Good morning.

Unidentified Analyst

Just circling back on the quarter one 1000 projects. Do you anticipate taking any of these on yourself or you’re going to look to JV. And then just related to that, will you look to expand out of the SPP region maybe until record PJM and some of other surrounding regions where you see FERC Order 1000 opportunities?

Mark A. Ruelle

I would say if you assume that in the SPP footprint that we probably have a bias to doing it more so. We have done a joint venture in the past, we’re not adverse to that, if they make more sense to do it, but we – we’re not compelling to do it, no requirement to do it, and we probably have a bias for not doing it unless the project is incredibly complex and large, and it just makes sense from a risk-taking perspective.

We think our advantages are probably most appropriate and if we stay close to home and historically powerful, and I’d say would you go outside of our region, but we have to have a compelling reason that says the advantages we know in our region are equally applicable in other regions. If we were to go into the record PJM, I think you – we’ll be more inclined to joint venture on that, just because we don’t have that experience, we don’t have that is right, so players of incumbency.

Unidentified Analyst

Got it. And then just one confirmation, assuming you when some of these FERC Order 1000 projects in 2015, do you anticipate a change in your equity needs, if you win some of these projects?

Mark A. Ruelle

Based on that…

Anthony D. Somma

It depends on the size of that, I indicated we are – we would pursue them under subsidiary structure. So, you wouldn’t have the same equity, as they think we’re done at the parents at a flat structure. It just depends on how big they are. I mean if you were great projects to that value, then – and they were large projects that required incremental financing. We’d obviously pursue that, but if they’re moderate, we probably didn’t have a need to do that. But either way, because they’re being done in the subsidiary structure, you would need as much efforts.

Unidentified Analyst

Got it, got it. Thanks, questions answered.

Operator

Okay, thank you. And our next question comes from the line of Brian Russo from Ladenburg. Please proceed.

Brian J. Russo – Ladenburg Thalmann & Co., Inc.

Hi, good morning.

Anthony D. Somma

Good morning, Brian.

Brian J. Russo – Ladenburg Thalmann & Co., Inc.

Just to be clear, I guess the FERC 1000 SPP projects is that considered upside to the 4% to 6% EPS CAGR or is that kind of maybe embedded in kind of the high end of the range?

Anthony D. Somma

Depending on the size of we mostly considered upside to that.

Brian J. Russo – Ladenburg Thalmann & Co., Inc.

Okay, so outside the 4% to 6%, great.

Anthony D. Somma

No, I know was the 4% to 6% we have out there is consistent with the capital forecast, we put in front of you and that does not include any of these upside.

Brian J. Russo – Ladenburg Thalmann & Co., Inc.

Got it. So the 4% to 6% in comprises your current capital budget that imposed as any of the disclosures. Okay, and can you remind us what is the weather normalized 2013 EPS?

Mark A. Ruelle

Tony, I’ll let you take that one.

Anthony D. Somma

Hey, Brian. Weather in 2013 probably added $0.02 to $0.03.

Brian J. Russo – Ladenburg Thalmann & Co., Inc.

Okay. so you reported $2.23 in 2013. so $2.20 is kind of base to work with 46% CAGR also?

Anthony D. Somma

No, we reported $2.29 and weather was a couple of cents, just call $0.03, then recall we had $0.03 to $0.04 of additional [coal] (ph), and then we have maybe $0.03 or $0.04 of additional tax benefits that you probably will not see on recurring basis. So you probably need to walk that $2.29 down to $2.20, $2.19, $2.18 range.

Brian J. Russo – Ladenburg Thalmann & Co., Inc.

Okay, great. And just on the 2014 guidance in the updated guidance, it seems like you’re accelerating OEM expense which I guess might offset the favorable first quarter weather impact, so I just want to be clear what’s driving the $0.05 increase in the guidance and basically is that sustainable going forward or is it more of a weather and an O&M timing issue?

Anthony D. Somma

Well, the part of the reasons for opting the guidance was obviously, you know, we had some good contribution from weather and our energy marketing group. In total those two gave us about $0.08 or $0.09. As far as the O&M we’re just being opportunistic to invest in grid resiliency and reliability. There is other items that changed and I think they’re listed in our driver’s page. We’re getting a slightly better pick up on equity GRC than what we thought we’re getting a little bit more margin contribution from transmission, so there’s several factors that going into the decision to boost our guidance.

Brian J. Russo – Ladenburg Thalmann & Co., Inc.

Okay. And I’m sorry if you mentioned this earlier. But do you know what weather normalized sales growth was in your first quarter?

Anthony D. Somma

Well, I preferred to kind of look at a trailing 12 months as opposed to a quarter. Brian, because, in the quarterly weather calc, you can get some pretty funky numbers, that’s some of our finance team uses. So on a trailing 12 months basis; our residential and commercial sales are in combination growing a little more than 1%. So, we’re pleased and we think that’s a good sign for the company.

Brian J. Russo – Ladenburg Thalmann & Co., Inc.

Okay, great. Thank you.

Anthony D. Somma

You’re welcome.

Operator

Thank you. And our next question comes from Andy Levi from Avon Capital. Please proceed.

Andy S. Levi – Avon Capital Advisors LLC

Good morning.

Mark A. Ruelle

Good morning.

Anthony D. Somma

Good morning, Andy.

Andy S. Levi – Avon Capital Advisors LLC

I think most of my questions have been asked.

Mark A. Ruelle

Great.

Andy S. Levi – Avon Capital Advisors LLC

No, I got one, I got one. Mark, what you’re thinking I mean, we’ve seen I guess one transaction this year, excellent buying time, and then rags of rumor here, rumor there, your one stay utility you guys are probably one of the better, I want to say best, because they made single somebody else out, one of the better utilities out there, whether it’s say regulation whether it’s operations, whether it’s earning growth opportunity service territory, whatever it maybe. What’s your thinking as far as M&A in general?

Mark A. Ruelle

Well, yeah, we’ve been…

Andy S. Levi – Avon Capital Advisors LLC

Hey, and let me just add to it, has anything changed over the last year as far as you are thinking?

Mark A. Ruelle

Nothing has changed from our perspective. We’ve been consistent that – first of all, you never say never, but the bar is a very high bar. It is hard to generate shareholder value doing M&A. We don’t consider M&A as necessary for us to succeed in our mission and it is not a fundamental strategy that we have, but obviously our board is a very well informed engage board and they are familiar with what’s happening or what’s happened, what could happen in the industry, and we are happy to execute our business plan and feel good about it, and in order to consider M&A the board Westar is asked to be really aligned and that pretty rare one happened.

Andy S. Levi – Avon Capital Advisors LLC

And when you say that’s in the context of what meaning as a buyer, as a seller or does that channel like more as buyer?

Mark A. Ruelle

Well, look we consistently say that our view is that we don’t consider our sale to buyer.

Andy S. Levi – Avon Capital Advisors LLC

Okay, well that’s in the context of a seller, but I will issue this if you were offered an attractive price it would be something you would strongly consider?

Mark A. Ruelle

We consistently share the message, I just given you, I won’t go beyond that.

Andy S. Levi – Avon Capital Advisors LLC

Thank you guys.

Mark A. Ruelle

Thank you, Andy.

Operator

Okay, thank you. And our next question comes from Travis Miller from Morningstar. Please proceed.

Travis Miller – Morningstar Research

Good morning guys.

Mark A. Ruelle

God morning.

Anthony D. Somma

God morning.

Travis Miller – Morningstar Research

Taking the question as the other callers have suggested a lot of them across half on my list here, but did want to follow-up on the transmission side here. When you create those subsidiary what is that doing on the finance side. I know you touched on this very briefly. So this is allow you to go outside of your Kansas regulatory, structure and then we do foresee going outside of that, is that opportunity is there?

Mark A. Ruelle

Yes, it would. And Tony I would actually tell you, we finance it.

Anthony D. Somma

Travis, good morning. We could do something similar what we’ve done with Prairie Wind and that as we form a subsidiary and you could go ahead and have that subsidiary raise money for transmission projects. Just like we’re doing at Prairie, and Prairie Wind is raising its own debt.

Travis Miller – Morningstar Research

Okay.

Mark A. Ruelle

So for example, on Prairie Wind travels, we’ve had to put a very little equity into it.

Travis Miller – Morningstar Research

Okay. and that’s the business structure you think about then?

Mark A. Ruelle

Yes.

Travis Miller – Morningstar Research

For the FERC 1000 ones, and then real quick in another subject on the wholesale marketing, remind me, do you guys get to keep, or the shareholders get to keep all of that 100% or do you share some portion of that with Kansas right there?

Mark A. Ruelle

We keep it; the bulk of the activity as Tony indicated is just buying, selling for our fuel costs for our regular customers. But on this side, we’ll put together a buyer and a seller. And generally, that only produces a couple of cents a year is now what we’re talking about. But because of the circumstances, this spring like the old days, a lot of volatility, a lot of cold weather, a lot more activity there than we thought and our guys were opportunistic with that. And so we pick up about $0.01 and that does go to the bottom line.

Travis Miller – Morningstar Research

Okay, very good. Thanks so much.

Mark A. Ruelle

You welcome.

Operator

(Operator Instructions) And our next question comes from the line of Sarah Akers from Wells Fargo. Please proceed.

Sarah E. Akers – Wells Fargo Securities LLC

Hey, good morning.

Mark A. Ruelle

Good morning.

Sarah E. Akers – Wells Fargo Securities LLC

Couple more on transmission, do you plan to shift the existing FERC regulated asset into the new subsidiary or that just for new projects?

Mark A. Ruelle

We do not plan to do that Sarah.

Sarah E. Akers – Wells Fargo Securities LLC

Got it. And then, on the planning process will Westar be submitting and promoting specific projects throughout 2014 or as your overall more after the SPP identifies the projects next year.

Mark A. Ruelle

No, the whole idea is – well in fact, one of the dimensions that we win have to deal with who comes with the best solution. so we’re busy along with, I’m sure, some competitors trying to figure out, what best solutions are will be profiting them.

Sarah E. Akers – Wells Fargo Securities LLC

Got it. Thanks a lot.

Mark A. Ruelle

Thank you.

Operator

Thank you (Operator Instructions) And now ladies and gentlemen, I would like to hand back to Mark Ruelle for closing.

Mark A. Ruelle

Well, thank you very much for joining us. If you have any follow-up questions, of course just contact Bruce Burns, Bruce has a direct line at 785-575-8227. Have a great day.

Operator

Thank you ladies and gentlemen. That concludes your conference call for this morning. Thank you for joining us. And you may now disconnect.

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Westar Energy (WR): EPS of $0.52 beats by $0.05. Revenue of $628.55M (+15.1% Y/Y) beats by $45.77M.