Xcel Energy Earnings Call Insights: Increase in AFUDC and Expense Growth

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

Increase in AFUDC

Anthony Crowdell – Jefferies & Company: Just two quick questions. One is actually when I compare third quarter ’12 and fourth quarter ’12 interest expense, it looks like interest expense has gone down by $10 million. I think, third quarter, you guys had some maybe principal payments in there, but that was roughly $3 million, could give some more color on the $7 million? The second question is I guess you have had an increase in AFUDC year-over-year; I just wanted to know if you could highlight what projects you have that are building up the CWIP balance?

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Teresa S. Madden – SVP and CFO: Maybe if we start with the AFUDC, in terms of the rate will in part be higher because we have higher CWIP balances this year, so that’s the primary driver in terms of the variance there. Then the interest expense, the changes in that, I mean, we basically refinanced substantial amount of debt during the year, but that was all completed by the end of the third quarter. So the differences are driving that fourth quarter variance.

Anthony Crowdell – Jefferies & Company: Are there any particular projects that are driving the higher CWIP balances?

Teresa S. Madden – SVP and CFO: In Minnesota, we’ve had a lot of spend in CapX 2020. We’ve also had a lot of spend in Clean Air-Clean Jobs in Colorado. So those are the two biggest. Jones 4 also in Texas, so those are the big projects that we are working on right now.

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