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Executives

Bruce Steinke - VP, Controller and Head of IR

Gary L. Rainwater - President, Chairman and CEO

Warner L. Baxter - EVP and CFO

Analysts

Daniele Seitz - Dahlman Rose

Ashar Khan - SAC Capital

Paul Ridzon - Keybanc Capital Markets

Michael Lapides - Goldman Sachs

Stephen Gambuzza - Longbow Capital

Gregg Orrill - Lehman Brothers

Ameren Corp. (AEE) Q4 FY07 Earnings Call February 14, 2008 10:00 AM ET

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen thank you for standing by and welcome to the Ameren Corporation 2007 Fourth Quarter Earnings Call. During today's presentation, all parties are in a listen-only mode. And following today's presentation the conference will be open for question and answers. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded, Thursday, February 14th of 2008.

I would now like to turn the call over to Bruce Steinke, Vice President and Controller. Please go ahead, sir.

Bruce Steinke - Vice President, Controller and Head of Investor Relations

Thank you, Mike and good morning everyone. I'm Bruce Steinke, Vice President and Controller of Ameren Corporation and Head of Investor Relations. On the call with me today, is our Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Gary Rainwater; our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Warner Baxter; our Senior Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer, Marty Lyons, and other members of Ameren management team.

Before we begin, let me cover a few administrative details. This call will be available by telephone for one week to anyone who wishes to hear it by dialing a playback number. The announcement you received and our news release carry instructions on replaying the call by telephone. This call is also being broadcast live on the Internet and the webcast will be available for one year on our website, www.ameren.com. This call contains time sensitive data that is accurate only as of the date of today's live broadcast. Redistribution of this broadcast is prohibited.

I also need to let you know that comments made on this conference call may contain statements that are commonly referred to as forward-looking statements. Such statements include those about future expectations, beliefs, plans, strategies, objectives, and financial performance. We caution you that various factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements. For additional information concerning these factors, we ask you to read the forward-looking statements section in the news release we issued today and the forward-looking statements and risk factors section in our periodic filings with the SEC.

To assist on our call this morning, we have posted a presentation on our website that includes a slide that reconciles our earnings per share for the fourth quarter and full year 2007 to our earnings per share for the fourth quarter and full year 2006 on a comparable share basis. And a slide that compares our full year 2008 earnings per share guidance to full year 2007 earnings per share guidance, earnings per share again on a comparable share basis. To access this presentation, you may look in the Investors section of our website under presentations, or follow the links for the webcast.

Gary will begin this call with an overview of 2007 and a discussion of key operating and regulatory matters, Warner will then follow with a discussion of our 2007 results and 2008 earnings guidance.

We will then open up the call for questions. Here's Gary.

Gary L. Rainwater - President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks Bruce. Good morning and thank you for joining us. This morning we are pleased to report earnings for the fourth quarter and full year, 2007 which after adjusting for unusual items are in line with our original and revised earnings guidance ranges for 2007. We also reaffirm that 2008 earnings guidance that we first provided last month. Warner will discuss these items with you in more detail in a moment. I will begin my discussion with an overview of 2007.

In 2007, we accomplished some key objectives that we believe will bring significant long term benefits to our customer and stockholders. In Illinois, we reached a comprehensive settlement that will help our customer's transition to new electric rates and bring stability to the power procurement process. Rate freeze or roll back legislation in response to higher electric rates in Illinois is driven by deregulation of that market, but have had severe negative operational and financial consequences for our company as well as significantly impacted our ability to deliver reliable service to our customers.

Major stakeholders involved with this issue agreed to the comprehensive Illinois electric settlement. The stakeholders included the Illinois Governor's office, the Illinois Senate and House leadership and the Illinois Attorney General's office. As a result, the settlement provides significantly greater levels of legislative regulatory and legal certainty. It also enables a viable competitive power supply market to continue to develop in Illinois.

In addition to the settlement, eliminates a significant distraction to our company and will allow us to focus on implementing our business strategies of delivering excellent service to our customers and strong returns for our shareholders. In Missouri, we were able to settle all state and federal issues associated with the 2005 Taum Sauk Plant reservoir breach. We begun rebuilding the upper reservoir at that pump storage hydroelectric plant. The cost of the rebuild is expected to be in the range of $450 million and the rebuild project is expected to serve as an engine for economic growth of Southeast Missouri. Completion is scheduled for the fall of 2009.

We continue to believe that substantially all damages and liabilities caused by the breach including the cost of the rebuild will be covered by insurance. In both Missouri and Illinois in 2007, we significantly increased our investments in our energy infrastructure to deliver the reliable energy and cleaner air our customers and communities expect.

As we discussed at our Analyst Day in January, these in future investments are expected to significantly contribute to long term earnings growth in our regulated businesses. However, in the near term our returns in 2007 and expected returns in 2008 in our regulated Missouri and Illinois businesses are below levels allowed by the respective State Utility Commissions in our last rate cases. That's due to the fact that our current rates are significantly below the cost and investment levels we are facing in our businesses today.

As we have discussed with you in the past, in a rising cost environment, earnings will be negatively impacted due to the regulatory lag until appropriate levels of rate relief are granted. As a result in late 2007, we filed for an aggregate $247 million electric and gas rate increase in Illinois. We also expect to file an electric rate increase request in Missouri in the second quarter of 2008 to mitigate these higher costs and investment levels.

The request filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission were for an aggregate $180 million increase in electric and an aggregate $67 million increase in gas rates. We recognized that our Illinois electric customers have experienced sizeable rate increases over the past year, primarily because of higher power supply cost on which our utilities do not make a profit. We are sensitive to this issue and during settlement talks with stakeholders last summer, we pledged to keep the overall annual residential electric bill increases in Illinois to less than 10% in the first year for each utilities residential customers.

Our Illinois electric rate filings fulfilled that promise. We have also requested rate adjustment mechanisms for bad debt expenses and certain electric infrastructure investments. In addition, we have requested the decoupling of the collection of revenues for fixed natural gas delivery cost from sales volumes to assure we do not over or under collect delivery service revenues. Dampen, intervene [ph] a testimony is doing this case in mid-March and a decision is expected from the Illinois Commerce Commission in September. Constructive outcomes for the rate cases in Illinois and Missouri are very important to our regulated utility businesses. We need to recover our costs to continue investing in energy infrastructure on a timely basis and provide our customers with safe and reliable service.

On the Missouri side, last week AmerenUE filed an integrated resource plant with the Missouri Public Service Commission. This plan was put together with significant stakeholder input from representatives of organizations that include consumer advocates, those who represent low income customers, advocates for large business interest, environmental groups and officials from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the Office of Public Counsel and the Missouri Public Service Commission staff. The integrated resource plan outlines support for energy efficiency measures to reduce demand growth, expand renewable generation and increase existing power plant efficiency. Some of UE's coal-fired power plants are also aging and an analysis will be completed in 2009 to determine which units are likely candidates for retirement.

The integrated resource plan concludes that a new base load plant is expected to be required in our regulated Missouri operations in 2018 to 2020 timeframe. For that reason, we are preserving the option to develop additional nuclear generation by researching clean coal and carbon sequestration technologies. This year, we expect to file a construction and operating license application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a new unit at AmerenUE's Callaway nuclear plant site. Well, this filing does not represent a final decision. It preserves the option to build a nuclear unit.

As we stated in the past, we will not proceed with any new base load power plants without construction cost being allowed in the rate base in Missouri. In addition, to considering a new unit at Callaway, we also began the process this year to extend through 2044, the existing unit license at Callaway which currently expires in 2024. The Missouri Public Service Commission has scheduled a pre-hearing conference on the IRP to set a procedural schedule.

In our non-rate regulated generation operations, we continued in 2007 to execute our plan for investing in our power plants, to improve their future productivity as well as to effectively market our generation, consistent with our risk management framework. We have also begun major work on some of our coal-fired plants to begin installing additional environmental controls. I believe our accomplishments in 2007 positioned us well, to execute on the business strategies we outlined for you in January, at our Analyst Day.

We firmly believe the execution of these strategies will deliver strong earnings growth and solid risk adjusted returns in the future. That growth will come primarily from our regulated businesses. Growth in our regulated businesses will be driven by significantly higher investment levels, to improve the reliability of our distribution systems and to comply with environmental regulations to produce cleaner air. These investments are consistent with our customers and regulators expectations.

In addition, growth in our regulated businesses will come from updating our current rates to better reflect the current levels of cost and investments for experiencing in these businesses. Today we are earning substandard returns on our regulated businesses due to regulatory lag. Our plan to address this shortfall and to achieve growth is very straight forward. We'll file more frequent rate cases requesting moderate rate increases as well as seek appropriate cost recovery mechanisms to mitigate regulatory lag.

In addition, we'll continue to optimize our non-rate regulated generation assets, focusing on improving our plant's output and related energy marketing. By 2010, we expect our non-rate regulated base load plant output to increase approximately 10% over 2007 levels to nearly 33 million megawatt hours. While we currently believe that rising costs including fuel, depreciation and financing costs largely offset these productivity gains, we believe our plants will be well positioned for earnings growth in the future, should energy and capacity prices improve consistent with the market fundamentals, we discussed with you in January.

The bottom line is that we anticipate average earnings per share growth on the order of 4% to 6% per year through 2010 from a normalized 2007 base; with earnings of approximately $3.70 per share by 2010. By 2011 we expect to be able to achieve earnings of about $4 per share and higher in 2012. While our earnings per share growth will not be linear from our normalized 2007 base, that's due to the impact of regulatory lag and making upgrades at our non-rate regulated power plants. We are confident we can deliver these results by the end of 2010.

In addition, we are still dedicated to providing a strong, sustainable dividend and are focused on setting a foundation for future dividend growth. We believe the business strategy to achieve these goals is proven in lower risk, and that we will be successful.

I will now turn it over to Warner to walk you through our 2007 earnings and 2008 earnings guidance.

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks Gary. I would now like to refer you to the slide presentation on our website, as it provides a more detailed discussion of our 2007 earnings. This presentation reconciles our earnings per share for the fourth quarter and full year 2007 for our earnings per share for the fourth quarter and full year 2006 on a comparable share basis. In addition, this presentation includes a slide that compares our 2008 GAAP and non-GAAP earnings per share guidance, the full year 2007 GAAP and non-GAAP earnings per share on a comparable share basis.

Turning first to our 2007 earnings reconciliation on page three of our presentation. Today we announced 2007 GAAP net income of $618 million or $2.98 per share, compared to 2006 GAAP net income of $547 million or $2.66 per share. Excluding unusual items in each year Ameren recorded 2007 non-GAAP net income of $690 million or $3.34 per share, compared to 2006 non-GAAP net income of $599 million or $2.92 per share.

Ameren recorded GAAP net income of $108 million or $0.52 per share for the fourth quarter of 2007, compared to $61 million or $0.30 per share for the fourth quarter of 2006. Excluding unusual items in the fourth quarter of each year, Ameren recoded 2007 non-GAAP net income of $123 million or $0.61 per share, compared to 2006 non-GAAP net income of $89 million or $0.43 per share. Both 2006 and 2007 included several unusual items.

The net cost of the 2007 Illinois Comprehensive Electric Settlement reduced fourth quarter 2007 earnings at $0.08 per share and full year earnings per share by $0.21. 2007, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission order, attractively adjusting prior year's regional transmission organization costs reduced fourth quarter earnings by $0.01 per share and full year 2007 earnings by $0.06 per share.

2006 restoration efforts associated with severe storms reduced net income by $0.13 per share in the fourth quarter and $0.26 per share over the year. The impact of storm restoration efforts was less in 2007 but still significant. Costs associated with severe storms in 2007 reduced full year earnings per share by $0.09 per share. I will note that we are seeking deferral and recovery of the 2007 storm costs from the Missouri Public Service Commission. We expect a decision from the Commission, later this year.

Non-GAAP earnings in 2007 principally benefited from higher priced power sales, contracts and our non-rate regulated generation business segments. The June 2007 implementation of the Missouri electric rate order and greater demand for electricity and natural gas caused by warmer summer and cooler winter weather than in 2006.

Reducing the benefit of these positive items were among other things higher operating expenses including fuel costs, lower emission allowance sales, increased expenditures to improve reliability in our regulated business segments and higher depreciation and financing costs, due to greater energy infrastructure investments.

More specifically, in 2007 Illinois regulated business segment margins were $0.07 per share lower than in 2006. This was due primarily to the move from a bundled to unbundled electric delivery service rate structure.

Another change in our electric rate structure in Illinois, and a more significant impact on the fourth quarter of 2007. Prior to 2007 our Illinois residential electric rates were designed to be lower during the winter heating periods and higher during the summer cooling periods. Throughout 2007, we have been billing electric sales based on rates designed to be the same throughout the year. As a result, fourth quarter 2007 earnings were $0.14 per share higher than the prior year period.

As we have provided for you at our Analyst Day, this allocation of revenues among quarters will change again in 2008 due to an Illinois Commerce Commission order. Results of the Missouri electric and gas rate case added $0.08 per share to earnings in the fourth quarter and $0.21 per share for the full year 2007, compared to the year ago period. This includes the benefit of higher electric and gas rates, lower depreciation and decreased taxes. Pursuant to the Missouri Public Service Commission, electric and gas rate orders effective in June and April 2007 respectively.

Other electric margins increased $0.48 per share in the fourth quarter and $1.46 per share for the full year 2007. Primarily, as a result of the higher sales prices for the output of our non-rate regulated generation fleet. Higher cost for fuel and related transportation, primarily in our Missouri regulated operations reduced electric margins by approximately $0.08 per share in the fourth quarter and $0.31 per share for all of 2007, compared to the year ago period.

Favorable weather, primarily in the summer, drove full year 2007 margins higher by $0.14 per share versus the prior year and $0.10 per share versus normal weather conditions. Cooling degree-days increased 19% in 2007, compared to 2006 and were 37% above normal. Heating degree-days were 8% above 2006, but 10% below normal. The scheduled Callaway nuclear plant refueling and maintenance outage reduced full year 2007 earnings by $0.09 per share, compared to 2006 when there was no scheduled outage.

Labor and benefit costs increased $0.06 per share in the fourth quarter of 2007 and $0.18 per share for the full year 2007 versus 2006. Increased expenditures for distribution system reliability and maintenance reduced earnings by $0.09 per share in the fourth quarter and $0.15 per share for all of 2007, compared to the year ago periods, as we began to make significant incremental investments to improve reliability and customer satisfaction.

Depreciation and amortization expenses were $0.13 per share higher in 2007 and in 2006 primarily because of increased capital additions, the amortization of a regulatory asset associated with the recovery of Ameren IP acquisition integration costs which began in January 2007. Dilution and financing cost reduced fourth quarter 2007 earnings by $0.04 and full year 2007 earnings by $0.17 versus 2006. Dilution and financing cost in 2007 were higher than the year ago period as a result of continued funding of energy infrastructure and power generation investments whilst higher borrowing costs resulting from credit rating downgrades.

These downgrades were largely associated with the legislative uncertainties in Illinois. Reduced cost associated with the 2005 Taum Sauk Plant upper reservoir breach improved 2007 earnings by $0.15 per share relative to last year and $0.04 in the fourth quarter. Increased emission allowance sales also reduced earnings by $0.09 per share in the fourth quarter and $0.16 per share for all of 2007, compared to the prior year periods. We also do not benefit in the fourth quarter of 2007 from a $0.15 per share gain on the sale of non-core properties. Principally leverage leases as we did in the 2006 period.

Moving on to 2008 and slide 4, as Gary noted earlier and as we stated in our news release this morning, we reaffirm that we expect 2008 GAAP earnings to be in the range of $2.68 to $3.08 per share and non-GAAP earnings to be in the range of $2.80 to $3.20 per share. The $0.12 per share difference between GAAP and non-GAAP guidance is because of the estimated negative impact in 2008 on GAAP earnings for the 2007 comprehensive electric settlement agreement among parties in Illinois. We also reaffirm this morning the expected contributions from our three business segments as shown on slide 5. The 2008 earnings guidance range and expected segment contribution ranges are consistent with those that we provided to you at our Analyst Day in January.

Similarly, the reconciliation of 2008 earnings guidance to 2007 actual earnings is largely consistent with the reconciliation we provided at the Analyst Day. As a result, I do not plan going through our 2008 earnings guidance reconciliation again in detail.

Ameren's guidance for 2008 assumes normal weather and is subject to among other things, regulatory and legislative decisions, plant operations, energy market and economic conditions, severe storms, unusual or otherwise unexpected gains or losses and other risks and uncertainties outlined or referred to in the forward-looking statements section of our press release. We close as we look beyond 2008, not only do we believe that there is strong underlying value of our enterprise, and as Gary noted earlier, and as we discussed at our Analyst Day, we are convinced we have a very straight forward and executable strategy to deliver strong earnings for 2010 and beyond.

That strategy consist of updating our rates to reflect more current cost levels and earning fair returns on incremental investments desired by our customers and regulators in our regulated businesses. It also requires optimizing our existing non-regulated generation assets and positioning them for potential energy market improvements. While we know execution of this strategy will not be a simple lay up, we strongly believe that it is a strategy consistent with our business strengths, one that will bring superior long term value to you, our shareholders.

This completes my prepared remarks. We will now be happy to take your questions.

Question And Answer

Operator

Thank you, sir. [Operator Instructions]. The first question comes from the line of Daniele Seitz with Dahlman Rose. Please go ahead.

Daniele Seitz - Dahlman Rose

Thank you. You mentioned that your ROE was way below where it should be, could you give us some details on the different sections of the operations and what type of ROE are you experiencing?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Sure, Daniele. This is Warner.

Daniele Seitz - Dahlman Rose

Thanks.

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

With regard to our Illinois regulated segments, we are earning in 2007 an ROE of approximately 5% and expect that ROE to be consistent in 2008, that is about 5%. Remember that our allowed ROE in Illinois is 10% of both our electric and gas operations.

Daniele Seitz - Dahlman Rose

Right. And you are expecting a rate increase in September?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

We are expecting to hear from the Illinois Commerce Commission in September with any rate increase effective in the fourth quarter of this year. In Missouri, we earned approximately 9% ROE in 2007 and our expected ROE in 2008 as we have discussed at Analyst Day is expected to approximate a 7% ROE. In our electric operations in Missouri, our allowed ROE was 10.2% in our last rate case and I guess operations were approximately 10%.

Daniele Seitz - Dahlman Rose

And in terms of your coal prices, it seems that the... looking at the chart that coal prices in Missouri were particularly, well was about 28% during the quarter. What do you visualize in terms of a regulated recovery because it seems that there is a I thought you were going to be almost caught up for 2007 and seems that there is still some delay?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

A couple things to keep in mind is we did point out that in 2007, we expected fuel cost to increase and frankly, we expect continued increases in our fuel cost and our Missouri regulated operations and even on our non-rate regulated operations in the future. Between 2007 and 2008, we expect fuel cost to rise approximately 10% on our regulated operations, approximately 14% in non-rate regulated. In terms of the Missouri regulated operations, as you know we filed for a fuel adjustment clause, recovery mechanism and our last rate case, that was denied but the Missouri Public Service Commission did state that we can come back and seek another fuel adjustment clause and in fact, as we filed this next rate case here in the second quarter of this year, we expect to file for a fuel cost recovery mechanism in that case. With the objective to mitigate these cost increases, which will continue to go... meaningfully increase in the future.

Daniele Seitz - Dahlman Rose

Thank you.

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

You are welcome, Daniele.

Operator

Thank you ma'am. The next question comes from the line of Ashar Khan with SAC Capital. Please go ahead sir.

Ashar Khan - SAC Capital

Good morning.

Gary L. Rainwater - President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning, Ashar.

Ashar Khan - SAC Capital

I just wanted to get your views, I guess we have had on the Illinois side, we have got a staff recommendation for ComEd and then the Integris case, I guess they denied the rider mechanism for future improvements. And so, I am just trying to based on those two data points which we didn't have when you were in New York, which have occurred, I wanted to get your thought process regarding the Illinois case.

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Sure Ashar. As you know the ruling just came out on the Commonwealth Edison case the day before. But as Scott said so articulated and Gary and myself throughout the presentation at the Analyst Day is that we feel confident that we will be treated fairly in this upcoming rate case Illinois, because we are simply looking to update our rates to reflect the more current cost levels that we are experiencing in our business, coupled with seeking recovery of the investments that we are making for reliability in our business which are consistent with both customers and regulators' expectations.

When you look at the data points that you describe from our quick read of the Commonwealth Edison case, the staff has recommended a return on equity of approximately, I believe 10.3%. I believe as part of their case they requested a 10.7% increase. But also we are aware from our perquisite [ph] is that the staff in terms of what their recommendation was for a rate increase versus what Commonwealth Edison was seeking. One of the major areas of disputes appear to be associated with incremental rate base additions that were taking place outside of the test year. In their particular case. In our case as filed, we have not sought any incremental rate base additions about... beyond those which our in our existing test year.

So as we look at sort of the staff's recommendation there are some differences between obviously the two cases in terms of how they were originally filed. But the bottom line is we still feel strongly in terms of our fair treatment prospectively in the State of the Illinois.

Ashar Khan - SAC Capital

But Warren is it safe to say that the rider mechanism may not get passed, because it didn't get passed on the gas case?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

It... Ashar it's impossible to speculate. I won't try to speculate in terms of what their specific provisions were versus what ours are. But we feel that we've put together a very strong case to support all the rider mechanisms that we are seeking. And so we look forward to presenting our case to the Missouri... excuse me the Illinois Commerce Commission here in the next several months.

Ashar Khan - SAC Capital

Thanks. And if I can just end up with one. Could you just tell us a little but if your could remind us what is the change in the auction process going to be, first with the current RFPs and then what Illinois Power Authority is going to do later on. In terms of what kind of product is going to come to the market. What are going to be the risks and to the utility or not to the utility. Could you just take us a little bit through into the difference in the auction processes from the last one to the current one? And to the one contemplated with the Illinois Power Authority please?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Let me try it. It's a multi-phase question. In terms of the existing... for the auction process that we are going through in 2008 and one that we will utilize in 2009. One of the primary differences between those two auctions is that in 2008 this is one basically where the utilities are going to basically run that existing auction process.

As you know the Illinois Power Agency is going to come into place in 2009. So we have submitted an RFP plan to the Illinois Commerce Commission that has been approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission for 2008, which we obviously do not have the great number of megawatt hours that we still need to hedge. But nonetheless, that has been approved and we are going through the RFP process as we stand today. Once that process is completed we'll present our results to the Illinois Commerce Commission. And upon their approval we will simply execute those contracts and pass those costs through to our customers, because we have a mechanism to do so.

Ashar Khan - SAC Capital

And that's for peak load as well as its for the remaining 08 load and 09 load Warner. Am I right?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

I am sorry Ashar, say that again.

Ashar Khan - SAC Capital

That is for peak load as well... that's for the whole full requirements load. And it goes for 08 and '09. Am I right?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

It's the period that they are looking for to fill in is for some 08 and '09. It does gives from June through the July following period.

Ashar Khan - SAC Capital

Okay.

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

And then... excuse me June to May. Now then in 2009 keep in mind that that is the... the Illinois Power Agency will play a more integral role in that process. And it's... frankly its premature to say just exactly how that will play out. But certainly prior to that process is that we will submit data to the Illinois Power Agency including our low profiles and as well as work with them in terms of setting up a procurement process with not just the agency but also a third party administrator, that they will utilize this part of that process. But our view is that once we go to through that process and once an RFP type of process is settled upon that too the Illinois Commerce Commission will continue to play an integral role. We'll present the process to them as well as the results of the procurement process.

And then upon their approval then those purchases are deemed prudent by the Illinois Commerce Commission. So therefore, the risk for our Illinois regulated entity in terms of the procumbent or if not been able to recover those incremental procurement dollars is frankly the same as that we've had in the past. And that they were to pass through mechanisms to our customers.

Ashar Khan - SAC Capital

Okay. And Warren so we from... sitting from here should not expect that though the auction process is changing in terms of who is implementing and then how it's been implemented. That the pricing should follow the same pattern that it followed in the previous auction that there will be a base price and the full requirement price will be a premium to that price. And those premiums should be somewhat similar to what it was in the last auction. I'm trying to understand there is nothing fundamentally changing in terms of which will play a role in changing the way the different components are valued in the market?

Gary L. Rainwater - President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Ashar, this is Gary. There is one thing that is a fundamental change in that with the auction and you keep referring to the auction, the auction is no longer there. So, we don't even use the term auction anymore. But in the auction utilities or the power companies bid on a load following product, which means that the power companies took the risks of weather variation in load and any other kind of variation in load and assume the cost of following the load.

The difference in the RFP process which we're adopting now is that the utility company will not buy load falling products, it will buy blocks of power and build up those blocks of power essentially provide the load following on its own. So, there is a shift in risk and because of a shift in risk you would expect a somewhat of a shift in price as well. Pricing blocks of known amounts of power, those will be priced differently than the unknown load fluctuation that the power companies had to account for before. But the point Warner made is that when you get down to the utility level, the basic concept is that utility customers pay for whatever the price of power is, the utility stockholders do not make any profit on power and therefore do not take on any other risk of the power supply.

Ashar Khan - SAC Capital

Okay, I appreciate.

Operator

Thank you, sir. The next question comes from the line of Paul Ridzon with Keybanc. Please go ahead.

Paul Ridzon - Keybanc Capital Markets

Good morning, Warner. How are you?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Greetings. How are you today?

Paul Ridzon - Keybanc Capital Markets

Okay. It was my understanding that you had Missouri legislation that allowed a fuel clause; could the commission deny it again?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

With regard to... Paul with regard to your question, it has to be 179, that is legislation which does give the commission the option to implement a fuel adjustment mechanism and we have to do that in connection with the rate case. So, yes the commission has the ability to review the facts of circumstance of our case and decide whether we qualify or they believe its appropriate for us to have a fuel adjustment clause. So, the long winning answer is yes, take a look at the facts of circumstances and deny our fuel adjustment clause again, although we feel again as we said in January at our Analyst Day and Tom Voss spoke directly to this particular issue. We feel confident that because of the nature of our cost as well as the importance to the enterprise that will get a fuel adjustment clause next rate case.

Paul Ridzon - Keybanc Capital Markets

And what was weather year-over-year and then year versus normal?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Year-over-year on a net basis, weather had a $0.10 per share impact and then, that's compared to... excuse me, that's compared to normal. Year-over-year is about $0.14 per share impact.

Paul Ridzon - Keybanc Capital Markets

Both positive?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Excuse me?

Paul Ridzon - Keybanc Capital Markets

Both positive?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes.

Paul Ridzon - Keybanc Capital Markets

And when you gave your ROEs at the utilities, did you weather norm those or is that applicable?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

No, the ROEs that I have provided to you were exclusive sort of the unusual items there, sort of the non-GAAP but they did not affect, they were not adjusted for weather.

Paul Ridzon - Keybanc Capital Markets

So, they are even worse then?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

If you take out the impacts of weather, then certainly on the Missouri side they benefited more from weather, I would say the Illinois regulated business, the electric piece of weather was not a significant variable, they are obviously driven little more by the gas business in terms of the variations.

Paul Ridzon - Keybanc Capital Markets

And you kind of hit the top end of your guidance, what were the big drivers of getting there versus, I guess we would assume that you were thinking midpoint?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Well, I think when you look at... we updated our guidance, in January from a non-GAAP basis to be $3 in the quarter to $3.35 per share. It's in the range, sometimes its a time in certain expenditures coming in the play and then of course, as you looked at some of the sales that we're able to make towards the end of the year, they are a little bit better, perhaps than we thought but nothing major Paul, I would say it's sort of joke but that $0.03 or $0.04 per share difference, frankly.

Paul Ridzon - Keybanc Capital Markets

And what were the... did you have EA sales in the year and what were those?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

I am sorry, say it again.

Gary L. Rainwater - President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Emission allowances.

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Do we have emission allowance sales...

Paul Ridzon - Keybanc Capital Markets

In the fourth quarter and the year?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes, we did have some emission allowance sales throughout the year and if you're looking at the fourth quarter in particular?

Paul Ridzon - Keybanc Capital Markets

Both.

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

For the year we had emission allowance sales of about $7.5 million to $8 million for the year... for 2007. And obviously we had significantly great allowance levels of emission allowance sales in both the regulated and unregulated side of 2006 and when you look at our reconciliation, you see that as one of the significant differences between the two years.

Paul Ridzon - Keybanc Capital Markets

Did you have any in 4Q?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

I am sorry?

Paul Ridzon - Keybanc Capital Markets

Did you have any in 4Q?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

We had less than $1 million.

Paul Ridzon - Keybanc Capital Markets

Was that after-tax?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

No, pre-tax.

Paul Ridzon - Keybanc Capital Markets

Okay, thank you very much.

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

You are welcome.

Operator

Thank you. The next question comes from the line of Michael Lapides with Goldman Sachs. Please go ahead

Michael Lapides - Goldman Sachs

Hey guys two questions, little bit unrelated. First question short term debt at the end of fourth quarter 06 and just short term not even the currently maturing long term is up about $300 million from third quarter. I mean... third quarter 07 to fourth quarter 07 is up about $300 million and the total is about $1.5 billion. That's a huge increase from the year ago period as well. Can you talk about plans for dealing with the short term debt? That's the first question. And the second question is, can you talk about on the non-regulated side, which plants are having scrubber installations over the next few years? And if there is any information regarding timing?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Sure. I'll handle the short term debt and then Gary can comment a little bit on the environmental fees. But on the short term debt they did increase from Q3 to Q4. But I think you have to look at our net cash position too. We are sitting on about $300 million or so of cash at the end of the year. And I think when you look from Q3 to Q4 on that short term debt net of cash is perhaps may be about $100 million. The bottom line allowed that's a little bit choppy in terms of what we typically do is we build up our short term debt and then we go out into the marketplace and term that out with the issuance of long term debt. And so, we plan on executing this strategy throughout 2008 whereby we'll be very active in the capital markets terming out that short term debt with long term debt instruments. For both our regulated and unregulated operations. Now I'll let Gary comment on the environmental fee

Gary L. Rainwater - President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Yes on the scrubbers on the non-reg business we have construction going on now for two plants at our Duck Creek plant we are installing a single scrubber which should be online by the end of this year. And then our Coffeen plant that's a two unit plant we are building two scrubbers that will be online by the end of '09. And for the longer term and I don't recall which units specifically are getting scrubbers. But basically all of our large units which would include two units at Newton. It includes about four units of the six units at our Jasper power plant and that... those will be installed... Edwards as well. One or two units at Edwards and those are installed over about a four or five-year period.

Michael Lapides - Goldman Sachs

Got it. And is there a timing known for new networks in Jasper.

Gary L. Rainwater - President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

I don't have the schedule in front of me. But not in the next two years. But I would say 2 to5 years.

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

We can get that information to you Mike. We'll get that back to you.

Michael Lapides - Goldman Sachs

That would be great. And just one question. How, when you think about what it does in the year of installation to the capacity factor of the plant. I mean is it done during a normal maintenance outage? Does it extend the maintenance outage, kind of just try get our arms around that?

Gary L. Rainwater - President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Well it will reduce the capacity factor and reduce the availability. And I can't give you an exact number but it extends the outage. And then there is always the possibility that on startup there could be startup delays. So we have factored that into our expectations though and we still predict over the next couple of years increasing base load generation from these plants by about 10% and from roughly 30 million megawatt hours to 33 million megawatt hours. In '08 and 09 it will have a negative impact.

Michael Lapides - Goldman Sachs

So. I want to make sure I understand. In 08 and 09 it has a negative impact because of Duck Creek and Coffeen. Then some time after 09 Newton, Edwards and Jasper have the same thing happen. How do you get to the 33 million before you are done with all five plants?

Gary L. Rainwater - President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

It's partly due to the fact that the historical performance hasn't been that good. If you look at the availability of those plants just in the last year, it was at 81% for non-rate regulated generation versus about 89% for the regulated generation, which isn't going through these kinds of outages. And we are predicting to get it up to 90% by 2010. But we should improve it to something on the order of 85% by then. If we look a little longer, by the time that we get through the Newton, Edwards and Jasper installations we would expect the performance of those units to be more like 90% availability and the capacity factor to be even higher.

Michael Lapides - Goldman Sachs

Got it. Okay, thank you guys. Much appreciate it.

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

You're welcome, Michael.

Operator

Thank you. The next question comes from line of Raza Hatefi [ph] with Polygon Investments. Please go ahead.

Unidentified Analyst

Thank you very much. Could you discuss little bit about the coal markets. I guess going back to your January slide you guys showed your hedges through 2010. And specifically the non-regulated $23 per megawatt hour for 2010, only 16% hedged. How does that relate to how the coal markets have moved in recent weeks? And what do you think about the future of coal prices etcetera?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Sure. And... this is Warner. In terms of the coal prices certainly we have seen here and recently some pressure on coal prices. Spot market rate is risen a $1 or $2 here over the last month or two as a result of many of the things that you read in terms of the overall demand for coal. But keep in mind we saw a similar types of increases two or three years ago where the coal prices went through the roof because of particular demands.

The other thing to keep in mind is you can't just look at the spot market rates and suggest that they too will be what you enter in to for a long term contract. So, the bottom line is we are seeing some of those increase in prices, obviously we continue to go through our hedging strategy whereby generally around 20% per year of our coal contracts typically roll losses or typically anywhere from 4 to 5-year types of contracts. And so when you look out there in 2010, obviously we are not hedged as much, but of course we factored in some of our thinking, what marketplace observations that we had at the time and we expected them to take place prospectively.

So, I wouldn't suggest that just sort of a spot market rate that we took in to consideration when we put together our guidance. Of course the other piece that drives that isn't just coal prices but also transportation fees and that too is in fact is major drivers other than there is anything in terms of the increases in our coal cost prospectively.

Unidentified Analyst

And could you remind us after the '09 scrubbers come on and then going forward when the Newton, Edwards and the other scrubbers also come on or is there going to be a shift from PRB to some other kind of call or because I guess right now your 90% PRB if I am not mistaken?

Gary L. Rainwater - President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

There won't necessarily be a shift from PRB to Illinois coal. Though it depend on the economics but we are planning to create some flexibility, we are installing mostly wet scrubbers. In scrubber technology, you have got two choices dry scrubbers which are little less capital investment, wet scrubbers are little more capital investment. Dry scrubbers really don't have the flexibility to scrub either Powder River or Illinois Coal but the wet scrubbers do. So, we will be sure that we provide that flexibility given how the markets change and we might switch back to Illinois coals in the future.

Unidentified Analyst

And your 2011 guidance of $4 or round about, are you assuming that your trending or you add somewhat of a... you are earning basically around your allowed ROE or fair ROE, or is there a still under earnings going on even with that nice guidance?

Gary L. Rainwater - President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Sure, with regard to 2000, and of course we didn't give that level of detail in terms of what our expectations were prospectively but what we did say in January is that we did expect regulatory lag to persist as long as there is this rising cost environment. But having said that, we do expect to meaningfully decrease the level of regulatory lag that we are experiencing today through the frequent levels of rate cases that we will continue to seek coupled with the cost recovery mechanisms that we are going to be seeking in both Missouri and Illinois whether it be fuel, environmental or infrastructure investment. All those items will meaningfully impact the difference between our allowed return on equity and on our actual returns on equities are. So, we expect those to certainly be meaningfully declined in terms of specifics, in terms of what we are expecting out in the future years, we haven't provide that level of detail out there in 2001.

Unidentified Analyst

Thank you very much.

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

You are welcome.

Operator

Thank you, sir. The next question comes from the line of Steven Gambuzza with Longbow Capital. Please go ahead.

Stephen Gambuzza - Longbow Capital

Good morning.

Gary L. Rainwater - President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning, Steve.

Stephen Gambuzza - Longbow Capital

I was wondering if you could let us know if you have any expectations for what the increased operation and expense is associated with operating a scrubber in terms of rule of thumb dollar per megawatt hour variable or the fixed cost for TW, is there any kind of rule of thumb or expectation you have in terms of the operating cost of these equipment?

Gary L. Rainwater - President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Steve, the only numbers that I can recall and give you a short answer to your question first, I don't have a good number to give you. But as far as capital cost in the past, we've worked with numbers around $300 per kilowatt. And I know those numbers are under pressure just because of shortage of construction forces out there, they are rising but I don't know exactly what the new number is. And as far as cost per megawatt hour, why don't we try to get you a number because I don't have one off the top of my head.

Stephen Gambuzza - Longbow Capital

Okay. And then you talked about your scrubber plans, I was wondering if you have, if you would give us a run down also in terms of SCRs, have you planning installing any SCRs that you are regulating?

Gary L. Rainwater - President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Yes, I don't recall which units are getting SCRs, I know we already installed SCR as already on our Coffeen units. And I think those are the only ones that we've installed.

Gary L. Rainwater - President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

And Steve, did you ask about the regulated units?

Stephen Gambuzza - Longbow Capital

No, just the unregulated units.

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Okay that's what I thought, that's why there was this clarification. So, Gary was addressing that.

Gary L. Rainwater - President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Bruce is trying to find some information there.

Stephen Gambuzza - Longbow Capital

Okay. In terms of the... in the analyst book you had disclosed your contracted position for the unregulated coal requirements. And I was just wondering how aggressively you are seeking to close that contract because un-contracted position which you identified in the 2011 timeframe. Do you have kind of an objective as to how hedged for 2011 you'd like to be, by the end of 2008, per se?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Well typically... Steve, this is Warner, in terms of the... again there are two pieces to it, there is coal and transportation. And typically, what we have historically seen for the coal contracts anywhere from 4 to 5 year types of contracts. Transportation we try to link them up as closer as we can to the coal contract in terms of tenure but they are more plant specific and often times do not have the sane, exact duration. So as we look out, most... especially in the 9-10 timeframe... obviously coal is better hedged than some of our transportation contracts. So as I said at the Analyst Day we are actively seeking to show up especially the transportation contracts of those.

Open power plants especially on our unregulated generation business. And with the coal contracts we systematically go through a period where we will hedge some of those open positions. I would call sort of a dollar cost averaging. We don't try and to be market timeframe frankly. We get out there. We are in constant contact with our suppliers. Both on the rail side as well as the commodity side. And so it's almost an ongoing process throughout the year that we are engaging in discussions with these folks. And so there is... we are not putting the peddle to metal today anymore differently than we would in January probably March of any other year. We would just take that type of approach to our hedging position.

Stephen Gambuzza - Longbow Capital

Okay. And then finally as you have done on prior calls. I was wondering if you might be able to provide the 2007 net income by reporting at least for the Illinois regulated and unregulated segments.

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Sure we'll... I'll give those to you for the 2007 for the reporting entities?

Stephen Gambuzza - Longbow Capital

Yes.

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

The Union Electric, that is $336 million; our CIPS was $14 million; for Genco, it was $128 million; for CILCORP, it was $46 million; our IP was at $24 million. Those are the reported entities.

Stephen Gambuzza - Longbow Capital

And EEI?

Gary L. Rainwater - President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

EEI is a component of UE.

Stephen Gambuzza - Longbow Capital

Okay, great. Thank you very much.

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

You're welcome.

Operator

: Thank you. The next question comes from the line of Epuch Fung with Zimmer's and Lucas Partners [ph]. Please go ahead.

Unidentified Analyst

Good morning.

Gary L. Rainwater - President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Good morning.

Unidentified Analyst

Can you please just give us an update on getting the environmental recovery rider in Missouri. For example has the rules for that been set and will you be applying for that this upcoming rate case?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Sure. As we have discussed at the Analyst Day, we expect the rules that... more clarity around the rules sometime we think by the end of the first quarter of this year with we will be able to see the rules. The final set of those rules sometime early in the second. And so as we approach our rate case in Missouri we'll have visibility to those rules where we expect to file that here in the second quarter. And we would expect to seek an environmental cost recovery mechanism in our next rate case.

Unidentified Analyst

Okay, thank you very much.

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Welcome.

Gary L. Rainwater - President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Come back quickly to the question on the SCRs, here is the data for you. We have already installed one SCR unit at our Edwards plant. One at our Duck Creek plant. Two at our Coffeen plant and there are no current plans to do more than that in the unregulated generation business. I think that for the other plants we are reducing NOx primarily with low NOx burners and with fine tuning technology than tunes the plants for NOx emissions.

Operator

Thank you. The next question comes from the line of Gregg Orrill with Lehman Brothers. Please go ahead.

Gregg Orrill - Lehman Brothers

Thanks very much. I was wondering if you could remind me of the context around Missouri declining the fuel recovery clause previously?

Gary L. Rainwater - President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Sure. You know Greg obviously the commission spoke in their order and addressed the rationale but behind that and some of the rationale included what they deemed to be the volatility of our fuel costs. But I think the other think that you need to look at when we approached our last rate case in terms of the fuel cost recovery mechanism that case was very complicated; several complicated issues in terms of trying to determine what an appropriate level of not just fuel cost would be but also off-system sales.

Those issues if you recall related to the joint dispatch agreement going away. It related to the EEN [ph] contract which was at disputed time. It related to setting the appropriate market prices for our system sales. And coupled with that we were the first utility at that point in time to seek a fuel adjustment mechanism. So, I won't speak for the commission but certainly as we look at it those were all issues and factors in the last rate case that had be determined by the Missouri Public Service Commission.

As we look now going forward to this rate case, the join dispatch agreement is now been in place and we'll have history that we will be on the show in terms of the impacts of that. The EEN contract will settled in the last rate case in our favor. So, we think that the issue surrounding the fuel adjustment cost mechanism for Ameren and this UE in this next case will be a simpler exercise. For the commission to review in the case that we'll file here in the second quarter.

Gregg Orrill - Lehman Brothers

Okay, thanks.

Gary L. Rainwater - President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

You're welcome.

Operator

Thank you, sir. The last question is a follow-up question from Daniele Seitz with Dahlman Rose. Please go ahead.

Daniele Seitz - Dahlman Rose

Hi. I was wondering you are presenting a lot of distribution system reliability additions or expenses basically in that area. Have all of these programs been already previously also rise [ph] by the Commission? Or actually these are just your own planning?

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Well Daniele its regarded to the incremental expenditures that we're doing in both the capital and O&M side of our business for reliability. Certainly, both Tom Voss and Scott Cisel and their teams have been in communication with the commissions and the commission staff people in terms of what we are doing. If you recall the Analyst Day, Tom Voss even went through the Power On program which has been very visible, not just to the regulators but also to the community. So, we have spoken to them about it, they are supportive of the certainly improving overall reliability but they say that they have authorized that and accrued and raised [ph] that would be premature for us to say that. However, we will see to recover these incremental costs in these upcoming rate cases and we believe it's consistent with both the commission's expectations as well as our customer's expectations in this area.

Daniele Seitz - Dahlman Rose

And then the efficiency and conservation programs that you are proposing do they come with also some sort of compensation for the company as well?

Gary L. Rainwater - President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Our cost for our energy efficiency programs in both Missouri and Illinois are recoverable on rates.

Daniele Seitz - Dahlman Rose

Okay, so that is already understood. Great, thank you.

Operator

Thank you ma'am. This time there are no further questions. I would like to turn it back over to management.

Warner L. Baxter - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Great. We want to thank you all for participating in this call this morning. Let me remind you again that this call is available through February 21st on playback and for one year on our website. The announcement carries instructions on listening to the playback. You can also call the context listed on our news release. Those on the call, who are financial analysts, please call Bruce Steinke or Terese [ph]. Media should call Tim Fox. Contact Numbers are on the news release. Again, thank you for dialing in.

Operator

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. This does conclude the Ameren Corporation 2007 fourth quarter earnings call. If you would like to listen to a replay of today's call, please dial 800-405-2236 or 303-590-3000. Once again, our toll free 1800-405-2236 or 303-590-3000. The passcode for the conference call will be 11108033, followed by the pound sign. Once again that's 11108033, followed by the pound sign. You may now disconnect and thank you for using AT&T Teleconferencing.

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