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spectra energy Q307EarningsCall_110607_transcript

  1. 1. Spectra Energy Third-Quarter 2007 Earnings Conference Call Transcript November 6, 2007 O: Good morning, my name is Amanda, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Spectra Energy’s third quarter 2007 Earnings Review. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speaker’s remarks, there will be a question and answer session. If you would like to ask a question during this time, simply press *, then the number one on your telephone keypad. If you would like to withdraw your question, press *, then the number two on your telephone keypad. I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. John Arensdorf, vice president of investor relations for Spectra Energy. Please go ahead sir. O: Thank you, Amanda. Good morning everyone and welcome to Spectra Energy’s third quarter 2007 earnings review. Thank you for joining us today. Leading our discussion today are Fred Fowler, our president and chief executive officer, and Greg Ebel, our chief financial officer. Sabra Harrington, our vice president and controller, is also with us and will be available to take your questions at the end of the call. Normally, Martha Wyrsch, president and CEO of Spectra Energy Transmission, would be with us as well, but she is in Washington today presenting at the FERC conference on the future of natural gas. Fred is going to begin today’s discussion by sharing his perspective on our results for third quarter and update you on our progress in meeting our 2007 financial and capital expansion goals. Then Greg is going to provide more detail and context around Spectra Energy’s results, and those at each of our business segments. And then we’ll open the lines for your questions. Before we begin, let me take a moment to remind you that some of the things we will discuss today concern future company performance and include forward looking statements within the meanings of the securities laws. Actual results may materially differ from those discussed in these forward-looking statements. So, you should refer to the additional information contained in Spectra Energy’s Form 10-K, and in our other SEC filings concerning factors that could cause these results to be different from those contemplated in today’s discussion. In addition, today’s discussion includes certain non-GAAP financial measures as defined by SEC Reg. G. A reconciliation of those measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures is available on our Investor’s Relations website at spectraenergy.com. With that, I will turn it over to Fred. Fred Fowler: Thanks, John, and good morning. As you have seen by now, we enjoyed an exceptionally strong third quarter. Spectra Energy's ongoing net income for the quarter of $240 million was up 32 percent over third quarter 2006. Year-to-date, our ongoing diluted earnings per share is a $1.06. I believe that we are well on track toward meeting our employee incentive earnings target of a $1.40 per share.
  2. 2. Spectra Energy Spectra Energy’s Third-Quarter 2007 Earnings Review November 6, 2007 Page 2 We saw excellent quarter-over-quarter performance from our U.S. Transmission group, as well as Distribution and our Western Canada Transmission and Processing business. Greg is going to walk you through our results in more detail shortly, so I will focus on the look ahead. Our highest priority remains unchanged: that is, executing effectively on our $3 billion capital expansion growth strategy to drive our 5 to 7 percent ongoing earnings per share growth over the 2007 to 2009 timeframe. We are backing up that commitment with action and solid results. Our year-to-date capital expenditures stand at $940 million, with $625 million of that directed toward expansion. By year end, we expect to spend a little over $1 billion in expansion capital. By the close of 2007, we will have brought into service expansion projects totaling between $625 and $650 million. Those projects, which include Northeast Gateway… Time II… Dawn-Trafalgar… Pine River, Cape Cod and Egan… will all drive incremental revenue, earnings and cash flow as we move into 2008. We expect them to produce returns in the 10 to 12 percent range, which equates to annualized EBIT of close to $75 million. And we continue to identify attractive capital projects beyond the 2007 and 2009 window. Just last week, we announced the proposed 3 billion dollar Bronco pipeline, which will connect natural gas supplies from the Rockies with the growing Western market. The Bronco pipeline would access existing and growing supply basins in Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado, and would stretch westward toward its proposed terminus at Malin, Oregon. This project is obviously in the very early stages, and it will be further refined after we hold an open season, which we expect to occur in the next few months. We still have work to do before we start including Bronco on our project map, but I am very excited about its prospects. At 10 months and counting, we are nearing the home stretch of our first year as a publicly traded company. We are confident in our ability to deliver the financial and operational results that you expect of us. We are focused on expanding our footprint of high-performing assets, responding to the needs and the opportunities of a demanding market, and continually growing value for the investors and the customers we serve. Again, I am very pleased with the results delivered by the Spectra Energy team this past quarter. All of our businesses continue to provide strong, dependable results. We expect that trend to continue into the fourth quarter, and both Western Canada and DCP Midstream should benefit from the continuing strong commodity environment that we are seeing in both crude oil and natural gas liquids.
  3. 3. Spectra Energy Spectra Energy’s Third-Quarter 2007 Earnings Review November 6, 2007 Page 3 When you take into account the strong level of earnings growth we anticipate, along with a dividend yield of more than 3 percent, you can expect total shareholder return in the 8 to 10 percent range – in a relatively low-risk environment. Further, we are committed to our target dividend payout ratio of 60 percent of earnings, and we would expect to increase the dividend as we grow earnings. That is a value proposition that I believe our shareholders should find compelling over the long term. With that, let me turn it over to Greg to talk in more detail about the results from each of segments. And, then we look forward to your questions following our prepared remarks. Greg Ebel: Thanks, Fred, and good morning everyone. Earlier today, Spectra Energy reported third quarter 2007 net income of $234 million, or 37 cents per diluted share. After removing the effect of special and extraordinary items and discontinued operations, ongoing earnings were $240 million or 38 cents per diluted share for the quarter, compared with $182 million last year. As Fred mentioned, this is a 32 percent increase over the 2006 results. Now, let us review each business segment in a little more detail. Let us start with U.S. Transmission, which reported third quarter EBIT of $230 million, compared with $179 million in the third quarter of 2006. The increased results in all of our U.S. pipeline and storage businesses were driven by higher demand for services and increased earnings from expansion projects. U.S. Transmission also benefited from the capitalization of previously expensed development costs, notably related to our Southeast Supply Header and Gulfstream projects, both of which received FERC approval in the quarter and are now under construction. This is a $13 million net benefit this quarter versus the $12 million expense in third quarter 2006. I will remind you that when we start projects, we expense the cost until we are confident that the project will move forward to successful completion. At that time, we reverse the expenses and capitalize those development costs. Now, let me turn to our Distribution business. Distribution posted yet another strong quarter, marked by third quarter 2007 EBIT of $40 million, compared with $24 million in the third quarter of 2006. This increase primarily reflected higher storage and transmission revenues, and increased distribution margin. Favorable market conditions continue to drive strong storage revenues, while transmission revenues benefited from the completion of phase I of the Dawn-Trafalgar expansion at the end of 2006.
  4. 4. Spectra Energy Spectra Energy’s Third-Quarter 2007 Earnings Review November 6, 2007 Page 4 These increases were partially offset by higher operating and maintenance costs, including higher costs for conservation efforts which will be recovered in rates. Now, let me move on the Western Canada. As expected, Western Canada Tranmission and Processing rebounded well after second quarter, reporting third quarter EBIT of $102 million, compared with $98 million in the third quarter of 2006. The prior year period included a $15 million gain relating to Spectra Energy Income Fund’s issuance of units for the purchase of assets from its parent. Excluding this gain, EBIT improved $19 million, primarily due to higher plant maintenance costs a year ago from a turnaround at our Fort Nelson plant, as well as the timing of costs related to pipeline integrity work and a stronger Canadian dollar this year. The Empress frac spread was slightly over $8 for the third quarter – certainly higher than historic norms. However, it is worth noting that it was only about $1.50 higher than it was in the third quarter of 2006. Now, let me turn to Field Services. Our Field Services segment, which represents Spectra Energy's 50 percent interest in DCP Midstream, reported third quarter 2007 EBIT of $140 million, compared with $158 million in the third quarter of 2006. The 2007 earnings include $3 million in costs related to the creation of stand-alone corporate functions. Lower margins in gathering and processing, and gas marketing, as well as higher operating costs were partially offset by favorable commodity prices. Field Services is faced with a unique environment today. As you know, we have seen unprecedented liquids and crude prices. At the same time, natural gas prices have remained relatively low, resulting in extremely high frac spreads. These trends have continued for an extended period of time. Due to these high frac spreads, some producers are electing to process their own gas, and others are moving from keep-whole to percent of proceed contracts, which provide the producer with higher margins. Therefore, we are not able to capture all of the upside we might otherwise have expected. In addition, the third quarter results were affected by lower margins on contract renewals and well connects, and plant and pipeline outages due to maintenance, some of which was related to floods in August, which affected ONEOK’s system in Oklahoma. Despite these changing market dynamics, Field Services continues to produce strong cash flows and distributions to Spectra Energy. During the quarter, Field Services paid distributions of approximately $247 million to Spectra Energy, which included a special distribution of $122 million associated with the sale of
  5. 5. Spectra Energy Spectra Energy’s Third-Quarter 2007 Earnings Review November 6, 2007 Page 5 certain assets to DCP Midstream Partners. Year-to-date, Spectra Energy has received $358 million in distributions from DCP Midstream. Before we move on, let’s take a look at crude oil prices for the year, compared with the price we forecasted in the year’s plan. Much has been made of the dramatic rise in crude oil prices, but it is important to keep in mind that at the beginning of 2007, crude oil prices were much lower than they are today. And while currently the forward curve looks to be above our plan for the remainder of the year, the settled and forward average price for the full year is about $72, compared with our annual estimate of $68.50. Now, let me turn to “Other,” which is primarily comprised of our corporate governance costs. For third quarter 2007, Other reported net costs of $15 million, which included $5 million in separation costs, compared with the net earnings of $19 million in third quarter 2006; which included $7 million in costs to achieve both the Duke Energy/Cinergy merger and the launch of Spectra Energy. Prior year results also included a mark-to-market gain of $21 million on the discontinued hedge contracts associated with the Field Services segment, and $26 million of management fees billed to certain Duke Energy operations in 2006. Excluding these items in both periods, net costs for Other were $10 million this quarter; compared with net costs of $21 million a year ago. Other continues to benefit from lower corporate costs to support the Spectra Energy operations as compared to the prior period. The next slide shows several important additional items: • Interest expense for the quarter was $156 million, compared with $152 million for the third quarter of 2006. The increase was largely a result of interest costs capitalized in the prior period for projects of businesses transferred to Duke Energy prior to its spin-off of Spectra Energy. • Third quarter 2007 income tax expense from continuing operations was $110 million, compared with $132 million in the third quarter of 2006. For the 2007 quarter, our effective tax rate was 32 percent, compared with the 2006 third quarter rate of 41 percent. Next quarter, you will see just the reverse: We expect our effective tax rate to remain in the 32-33 percent range, while the effective tax rate for the fourth quarter 2006 was about 15 percent. • As of September 30, 2007, our debt to total capital ratio stood at approximately 56 percent. We expect to be able to fund our capex program with a combination of internally generated funds and debt, while staying within the 55 to 60 percent range we told you we expected to maintain. • We also had successful quarter on the financing front, placing new debt or facilities at both Union Gas and Texas Eastern, at favorable rates. • During the quarter, we successfully launched the Spectra Energy Partners IPO and received $345 million.
  6. 6. Spectra Energy Spectra Energy’s Third-Quarter 2007 Earnings Review November 6, 2007 Page 6 • At September 30, we had total capacity under our credit facilities of $2.2 billion and available capacity of $1.8 billion. • Finally, the positive net income impact of the strong Canadian dollar was $3.7 million during the quarter, compared with the third quarter of 2006. With that, let us open the lines for your questions. Operator: At this time, I would like to remind everyone, if you would like to ask a question, press *, then the number one on your telephone keypad. We’ll pause for just a moment to compile the Q&A roster. Your first question comes from Carl Kirst with Credit Suisse CK: Hey, good morning everybody. FF: Hey, Carl. GE: Hey, Carl. CK: Hey, can I—Greg, you were talking about the reasons for Field Services being a little bit down year over year. It sounds like those dynamics are not really going to shift for the fourth quarter—I mean, is that correct? I mean, should we basically be looking at this as kind of just a continuation of the current environment? GE: From a contracting perspective, I believe that is fair. You know well what is going on with commodity prices, so we will just have to see if those two pieces offset to some degree – but I think that the dynamics from a contract perspective are likely to persist. CK: Fair enough. Off of that, should we be thinking – perhaps some producers are now choosing to process their own gas – is that changing, tempering annual sensitivities to liquids or oil or however you would like to reference it? GE: Good question. I think it is a little early for us to make that call, but as we come forward with our 2008 plan, that is what we will be looking at: do the sensitivities becomes less or more. And that is something, obviously, we will want to give you guys transparency on as we look to 2008 CK: Fair enough. Fred, I just wanted to ask a quick question on the Bronco pipeline. Are you primarily looking as this as kind of more of a producer-driven pipe, or an end-user pull, or how are you conceptionally thinking about it right now?
  7. 7. Spectra Energy Spectra Energy’s Third-Quarter 2007 Earnings Review November 6, 2007 Page 7 FF: I think it will be a combination of both – probably a little more producer driven, but I think it will be fairly balanced between market and supply. CK: Okay. Were you guys hearing sort of end-users clamoring for it, or was it when you were first kind of thinking about it, or is it more just a—Rockies is simply going to need another export pipeline? FF: This is an area and project we have been following and working on pretty closely. There’s widespread belief that there needs to be additional capacity built out of the Rockies. Look at the market: You have got Rex coming on to the East. You have a new LNG facility coming on in Eastern Canada next year, and you have a new LNG Buoy system coming on offshore of Boston. I think people are saying, “Hey, before I build more capacity, or pay for more capacity to the East, I want to see what happens to basis differentials after all this stuff happens. And, so I think, kind of what the market’s been struggling with is; yeah, there needs to be more capacity, but where does it need to go? And, as we focused on it, and in the discussions that we had with markets, it became clear to us that the West was probably where we think the next piece of capacity gets built. O: Our next question comes from Lasan Johong with RBC Capital Market. LJ: My question kind of follows up on what Carl was talking about. If you got all this export capacity coming out of the Rockies basin and you have got Rex coming in, and you have got to talk about additional lines going out of Rockies to California; how do you feel about this security supply coming out of the basin? I mean, is there enough supply to be able to get all this done? FF: I think so. I do not think you are going to have shippers signing up for long-term contracts if they don’t think they have supply to fill it. LJ: Are you at all concerned about competing with potential LNG sources coming into the Northwest? FF: Not overly so at this point. I just think it is going to be very difficult to site those types of facilities in that part of the country. LJ: And, additionally, PG&E is talking about building a pipeline that basically goes all the way out to Canada from their service territory. Would that not be a direct competition to your pipe? FF: No, I think they actually would be complementary. LJ: Are you all trying to receive FERC incentive rate-base treatment of this thing? Or will this be kind of your typical, normal new project?
  8. 8. Spectra Energy Spectra Energy’s Third-Quarter 2007 Earnings Review November 6, 2007 Page 8 FF: I think it is a little too early to get into those kinds of details on it. O: Your next question comes from Matthew Akman of CIBC World Markets. MA: Thanks very much. I wanted to go back to a couple of segments, especially, Field Services and U.S. Transmission. In Field Services, the initial guidance range that you guys gave was, I think, around $550 million at 68.50 oil; is that right? GE: That’s correct. MA: Okay. And, so, on that basis, if we look at the sensitivities that you gave at the beginning of the year relative to WTI were $3 or $4 above that, so is it still fair to be modeling something above the sort of $550 range – or have costs and other contract issues really significantly changed that in this current year? GE: We do not change our numbers during the year, obviously, so we are still confident we are going to hit the number we put out there for Field Services. There is no doubt that we had some cost issues earlier in the year: You might recall weather was kind of a $50 million type of hit for us through the year, so there is some impact that, while you see a pickup in commodity prices, we probably picked up $25 or $30 million in the third quarter on commodity prices, some of that gets taken back through to some of these higher operating costs. I would not suggest there is anything changing from a commodity perspective, but you have got to take into account—have you seen any volume declines, and have you seen some operating costs; and I think we have indicated it looks more like the operating costs will be in the $750 range versus what we thought closer—earlier in the year. MA. Okay. That is helpful. Thanks for that. And, on U.S. Transmission, it is not only that costs are coming down, but revenues are up nicely year over year, so which pipelines generally would you say those are coming from—those improved revenues? GE: Well, we are seeing it across the board. FF: You know you have had expansions come on in Gulfstream. Maritimes is up this year. We also had some expansion projects come on in Texas Eastern. We are seeing additional throughput this year on Texas Eastern. Storage is contributing nicely as a result of just higher values – we continue to see good pricing on our storage that gets renewed. So, it is more a little bit on everything, really. Most every system is participating in it.
  9. 9. Spectra Energy Spectra Energy’s Third-Quarter 2007 Earnings Review November 6, 2007 Page 9 MA: Okay. Thanks. And, maybe if I could just follow-up on Other, because the costs are a lot lower then on a run-rate basis than I thought you guys had talked about, too. So, is there something unusual in the quarter there? Or have you just been able to reduce costs? FF: No. We are just doing better on the costs. Matt, as you know, we said we would probably spend about $100 million there for the full year. Sometimes there are some quarterly differentials, but we feel good about that. And, I guess importantly, as we said, we are bringing those costs down to the $80 million range, if you will, for next year. Now, some of that might be spread into different units. But I think, generally, we are finding it cheaper to run the operation at Spectra Energy than it was in the past. MA: Generally, the numbers are looking very good. I guess there is no real opportunity for you guys to increase guidance because you do not have guidance; so, I mean, the employee incentive target would not change mid-year even if things were looking better, I guess, would it, Fred? FF: Correct. O: Your next question comes from Ross Payne with Wachovia Capital Markets. RP: First question is, can you give us an update on how Northern Bridge is doing? And, secondly, I guess KMP followed about a week or two later with their own Northeast expansion; how will that impact your project? FF: Northern Bridge is proceeding. I forget the precise volume that we have on it, but it is moving along. I have long felt that probably most of the pipeline serving the Northeast will ultimately—or the major pipelines, I think, ultimately, will participate in moving gas from the Ohio area to the various Northeast markets. So, from our standpoint, we would love to get it all—we are not going to—everybody would love to get it all, but, I think, just because of the way the market is somewhat segmented, I think that each of us will participate to some extent in moving that gas further to the east. I have always said that, from my perspective, it made a lot more sense to expand those existing systems—I thought they could do it on a more efficient basis, than to try to build a new grassroots pipeline where you have to come in and get a BCF a day immediately on it to make the rates work. RP: Yes. FF: The existing systems can kind of expand to the size of the market that is there at that moment, and so it is really starting to play out—like, I guess we have always thought it was going to.
  10. 10. Spectra Energy Spectra Energy’s Third-Quarter 2007 Earnings Review November 6, 2007 Page 10 RP: Okay. That is very helpful. Also, you guys kind of touched on it in your earlier comments, but could you add anything to what you think Rockies Express will do to kind of Midwest and mid-continent basis. FF: Quite frankly, I have not focused on that since we do not really serve the mid-continent market to any extent anymore. I have not really focused that much on what I think is going to happen to mid- continent, Midwest. RP: Okay. That is fair enough. I am just trying to get a tally from a number of people. FF: Yes. RP: So, thank you very much. GE: Thanks, Ross. O: Again, if you would like to ask a question, please press *, then the number one on your telephone keypad. Your next question comes from Sara Nainzadeh with Millennium Partners. MC: Hey guys, it is actually Mark Caruso; how are you? FF: Good. How are you? MC Good. I just wanted to try to get some clarification. I do not think I heard the number for US Transmission—the capitalized costs—did you give a number for that and what it was doing the quarter? GE: Yeah. Well, basically, I gave a net number; so it was—it is a benefit of about $13 million. MC: Okay. GE: Versus a year ago, it would have been a net expense, if you will, of $12 million. So, the turnaround year over year is about $25 million. MC: Gotcha. Okay. Great. And, then, as far as the Bronco Pipeline goes, Fred, I wondered—was curious—I know you mentioned there was kind of a combination of producer push and demand-pull. Would an expansion of Kern River and/or Northwest impact that, or is there enough demand-pull going, I guess, into Oregon and into the West coast in general?
  11. 11. Spectra Energy Spectra Energy’s Third-Quarter 2007 Earnings Review November 6, 2007 Page 11 FF: Yeah. I think there is going—I think there will be an expansion on Kern River. It will go further south and probably not make it all the way to the west with what you are seeing that is going on in the Nevada area. MC: Gotcha. Okay. FF: And, then, there is going to be the need for pipe going further west, and we think—in our opinion, that is where a new entrant can come in and be competitive with the existing systems. MC: Gotcha. And, then, as far as Midstream goes—kind of dig deeper into that—I know you had mentioned that people are processing their own gas and they are having some contracting issues. Is that something where you expect that to continue, or is that kind of alleviated as we move forward? I mean— price spreads are very strong, I am just trying to gauge your ability to monetize that opportunity. FF: Yeah. I think it is clearly when you have FRAC spreads of this magnitude, it is, obviously, going to put pressure on margins because people are—I mean, they see the kind of returns; it is a question of how long do people believe that these FRAC spreads are going to happen. Because, building a plant, you are making a fairly long-term investment. Again, there have been some areas where we have seen some producers just say, “Hey, I am going to build a plant.”—and we have lost the volume. But, it is something that we just have to deal with commercially; and, again, I think the key message is we are experiencing some margin pressure as a result of that. MC: So it is more a function of producers seeing the opportunity rather than your contract mix? FF: I think it is a combination of both. I mean, on certain of our contracts, they do have—they do have some optionality as to what kind of processing they choose to do. MC: Gotcha. Okay. And, then, as far as the guidance goes—so, it looks there are some mitigating factors on Midstream—are there any other helpers that we should be kind of looking toward? As I said, it looks Transmission is doing better—to kind of offset things as far as to hit your sort of outlook. FF: Well, to me, kind of the wind at our back is definitely commodity prices. MC: Yes. FF: You know weather always plays a role in the wintertime in our business. We still have some seasonality, so better weather always helps, particularly in our Union Gas operations. I think those are probably the two main factors to watch for the balance of the year.
  12. 12. Spectra Energy Spectra Energy’s Third-Quarter 2007 Earnings Review November 6, 2007 Page 12 GE: And, to be clear, we are confident in our ability to hit our financial targets here, so I would not want you to take some different message away from this, that is for sure. MC: No. Because I remember you guys were saying the first half of the year you were playing catch- up, so I just didn’t know if the market was stable enough to speed that up a little bit. GE: Obviously, the Canadian dollar is helping us a little bit, too. You know it is now above parity. We had indicated to you all that the U.S. dollar would be a $1.10 Canadian or so, and now the Canadian dollar is worth $1.04 or 5 U.S. – so that is reversed and has been somewhat helpful. O: Again, if you would like to ask a question, please press *, then the number one on your telephone keypad. We do have a follow-up question from Carl Kirst with Credit Suisse ... CK: Just one other small question while I am on: At Distribution, you saw a nice increase from $24 million to $40 million. How much of that was due to the Distribution step-up versus better storage revenues? And the rules for storage are going to change over the coming years, but on an apples-to-apples basis, does the $40 million represent more of a baseline here for the third quarter as we begin to do more detail in 2008, 2009, etc.? GE: Obviously, third quarter is not a big quarter. The bulk of the money is made in the first and fourth quarter; but storage and transmission added about $10 million, and then just higher distribution margins were about $5 million. So, that is kind of the way I would look at the breakdown. O: Your next question comes from Josh Golden with JP Morgan. JG: Could you remind me how to think of the balance sheets – particularly your credit rating and going forward after the initial $3 billion of capex projects here? What type of credit ratios are you targeting going forward, and where do you want to be within the ratings spectrum? GE: Well, we have made it very clear that, obviously, an investment grade balance sheet is very important for us. We have taken our full plans to the rating agency, so they have seen our three-year forecast. And the balance sheet metrics stay very much where they are from a debt-to-cap perspective, 55-60 percent. And the FFO to debt and FFO interest coverage is also very strong—BBB, BAA1 type ratings. So, with the retained earnings, the cash we are producing, we actually see very little change; and that is without raising any equity.
  13. 13. Spectra Energy Spectra Energy’s Third-Quarter 2007 Earnings Review November 6, 2007 Page 13 O: Your next question comes from Lasan Johong with RBC Capital Markets. LJ: Just quick follow-up on capital and operating costs: Are you guys feeling any kind of upward pressure? And if so, what kind of magnitude are we talking about in terms of cost increases, both in the Op-ex and capex level going forward? FF: Nothing new here – it is kind of a continuation of what we have been seeing the last year and a half. I would say that on the material side, we have seen a little bit of easing. On the labor side, it continues to be very tight, and the contractors are fully occupied. And, we continue to see tightness in that market. The other thing that we are seeing is a little bit of a down tick in the quality of work because they are trying to rebuild their capability by hiring a lot of new people. And, so they are going through the training period of getting them up to speed. So that part, construction—engineering and construction labor continues to be very tight. LJ: Are you at all concerned about the availability of skilled labor to be able to execute on your growth projects? Or is this a matter of paying up another few percentage points more to get that security of labor? FF: To me, it is more. Contractors are going to finish the jobs they are on and get to ours on a timely basis. And of course the wild card there is always weather. LJ: It is a matter of timing not availability, per se? FF: Right. O: Again, if you would like to ask a question, please press *, then the number one on your telephone keypad. At this time, there are no further questions. I would like now to turn the call over to Mr. John Arensdorf for closing remarks. JA: Thanks everyone for being on the call today. I would like to remind you that we are going to host an analyst breakfast in Boston and a lunch in New York on Wednesday, November 14. So, if you have not all ready registered, I would like to ask you to please do so. We would like to see you there. Both of these meetings are going to be web cast, and you can find details of the web cast on our website. So, again, thank you very much for joining us on the call today; and, as always, if you have any additional questions, please feel free to call Patti Fitzpatrick or me. Thank you. [Tape ends]

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