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Spectra Energy Corp is a S&P 500 company headquartered in Houston, Texas, that operates in three key areas of the natural gas industry: transmission and storage, distribution, and gathering and processing. Spectra was formed in late 2006 from the spin-off from Duke Energy. Spectra owns the Texas Eastern Pipeline , a major natural gas pipeline which brings gas from the Gulf of Mexico coast in Texas to the New York City area. It is one of the largest pipeline systems in the United States. Wikipedia.


DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--NTT DATA, Inc., a global IT services provider and a worldwide leader in SAP implementation, will have featured speakers at the upcoming SAPPHIRE NOW conference May 5 – 7 in Orlando, Fla. At the conference, SAP experts from NTT DATA will host break-out sessions discussing prevalent trends in today’s SAP market, including updates to HANA, mobile, and cloud. At booth #402, the company will offer attendees a chance to meet with experts to discuss current and future uses for SAP in their own enterprise. WHAT: NTT DATA will be exhibiting at the SAPPHIRE NOW |ASUG Annual Conference at booth #402. WHEN: NTT DATA will participate in the following presentations during the conference: “Configure One Single Portal for Your Entire Business Portfolio with Unique Design for Each Department/Folio” Wednesday, May 6, 11:00 a.m. EDT – Rm #S310E Speaker: Naga Devisetty, NTT DATA, Inc. Learn how NTT DATA fully customizes SAP Portals for our customers with uniquely designed user interfaces for each of their business units. Each design built securely through best practices in place and offers state-of-the-art user experience with easy access to intuitive tools, applications and frameworks to drive innovation and reduce TCO to customers. “Vistex Upgrade Best Practices and Lessons Learned at Sysco Foods” Wednesday, May 6, 11:00 a.m. EDT – Rm #S320C Speakers: Janice Rodgers, Sysco and Viraj Lonkar, NTT DATA, Inc. Learn how Sysco Foods leverages Vistex for customer and vendor agreements as well as sales commissions and recently underwent a successful upgrade from Vistex 60c to 60e. Come and learn about lessons learned and best practices for a Vistex upgrade and how a Vistex upgrade differs from an upgrade of standard ECC. “How to Construct a World Class SAP Center of Excellence in the Era of Cloud – Guidance from the Trenches” Wednesday, May 6, 12:30 p.m. EDT – Rm #310H Speaker: Vipin Singh, Vice President of SAP Practice, NTT DATA, Inc. In this era of cloud based SAP application and the push towards outsourcing, customers are at the cross roads of control and delegation. With increased compliance requirements it is imperative that the business functions with least disruption and optimal accountability. Understand the Best Practices, Governance and Toolsets associated with building an SAP CoE that is ready for the future. “Cross Application Time Sheet (CATS) for Production Orders – Evergreen packaging Success Story!” Thursday, May 7, 8:00 a.m. EDT – Rm #S330H Speaker: Vadivel Ranganathan, Project Manager, NTT DATA, Inc. Evergreen Packaging was looking for a business solution to enhance Production order confirmations with HR setup. The decision was made to implement Cross Application Time Sheet for Production orders, not possible by standard means. We will be presenting our story on thought process, solution approach, alternatives for Production and Efficiency reporting. “Top Factors Required to Succeed with Your SAP Supplier Relationship Management Upgrade” Thursday, May 7, 8:00 a.m. EDT – Rm #S330B Speaker: Uttam Agiwal, Associate Director, NTT DATA, Inc. Learn what to expect when planning and executing your SAP Supplier Relationship Management 7.0 (SAP SRM) upgrade and how to be successful. Explore some of the key new functionalities and associated business values available in SAP SRM 7.0 enhancement pack 2 and 3, including enablement of SAP SRM powered by SAP HANA. “High Performance & Optimization Code Standards at Sysco Foods Leveraging SAP ATC” Thursday, May 7, 8:00 a.m. EDT – Rm # S331B Speaker: Joseph Kuo, Senior Director at NTT DATA, Inc. SAP's ABAP Test Cockpit (ATC) is SAP's new tool to manage the quality, security, and performance of custom code. As a leading wholesale distributor, Sysco Foods creates and maintains code to support high volumes, so fast performance is critical to Sysco's success. Come and learn more about how Sysco uses ATC to achieve that. “Network Services SAP Business Suite on HANA Journey and Lessons Learned” Thursday, May 7, 12:00 p.m. EDT – Rm #S329 Speaker: Gagan Ghai, Solution Architect at NTT DATA, Inc., Paul Roche, Chief Information Officer, Network Services, Finance Chairperson, ASUG Network Services will share insight and lessons learned from their SAP HANA Journey. Network’s CIO Paul Roche along with NTT DATA will cover topics starting from HANA business case, licensing and hardware options to system upgrade migration and go live. There will be ample time for Q & A with NTT DATA and Network Services, a trailblazing SAP HANA. “How Sysco Plans and Tracks Their Business Technology Spend” Thursday, May 7, 12:00 p.m. EDT – Rm #S310C Speaker: Tim Clark, VP at NTT DATA, Inc. ABAP object development and testing is on the critical path of any successful go-live, and tracking the progress of each individual object is key. Sysco Foods used an object-level milestone-based planning and tracking toolset to plan and manage developments for their releases and ensure timely delivery to the business. “Define Sysco Foods Comprehensive Archiving Strategy to Manage Very High Data Volume in Complex SAP Environment (ECC, SRM, CRM, APO, MDM)” Thursday, May 7, 2:00 p.m. EDT – Rm #S331C Speaker: Leon Reznick, Director at NTT DATA, Inc. Define and implementation and execution of End-to-End Archiving Solutions Archiving across multiple systems including ECC, SRM, CRM, MDM. Using Solution Manager DVM tool together with NTT DATA ArchivePac to define dependencies and sequence of archiving objects. Prepare systems for global deployment. “Internet of Things and our Business” Thursday, May 7, 2:00 p.m. EDT – Business Networks Microforum BN305 Speaker: Gagan Ghai, Senior Director, NTT DATA, Inc. Over the next decade, billions of interconnected devices will be monitoring transportation systems, factories, utilities and environmental conditions. Find out what the Internet of Things means and why it is important to your company. Learn how to separate hype from what can have a real business impact. “Automate and Streamline Contract Creation and Management” Thursday, May 7, 2:00 p.m. EDT – Micoforum Business Network #318 Speaker: John Zagata, Spectra Energy and Baskar Radhakrishnan, NTT DATA, Inc. This discussion explores how you can use automation to accelerate the contract lifecycle, maximize contract visibility, and help ensure compliance across procurement, sales, legal, and finance processes. Hear how good contract lifecycle management sets the tone for your relationship with your external stakeholders, be they suppliers or customers. For additional details, visit the NTT DATA booth or the SAPPHIRE NOW 2014 landing page at http://americas.nttdata.com/Sapphire2015.aspx. NTT DATA is a leading IT services provider and global innovation partner with 75,000 professionals based in over 40 countries. NTT DATA emphasizes long-term commitment and combines global reach and local intimacy to provide premier professional services, including consulting, application services, business process and IT outsourcing, and cloud-based solutions. We’re part of NTT Group, one of the world’s largest technology services companies, generating more than $112 billion in annual revenues, and partner to 80% of the Fortune Global 100. Visit www.nttdata.com/americas to learn how our consultants, projects, managed services, and outsourcing engagements deliver value for a range of businesses and government agencies.


NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fitch Ratings has assigned a rating of 'BBB' to DTE Energy Company's (DTE; IDR 'BBB') $300 million issuance of seven-year senior unsecured notes due June 15, 2022. The senior unsecured notes will rank pari passu with existing unsecured debt. Proceeds from the issuance will be used for general corporate purposes. The Rating Outlook for DTE is Stable. Fitch's rating of DTE reflects the stable earnings and cash flows of its two regulated utility subsidiaries, DTE Electric Co. (DECo; IDR 'BBB+', Outlook Stable) and DTE Gas Co. (DTEGas; IDR 'BBB+', Outlook Stable). DECo is the primary driver of consolidated cash flows and approximated 72% of consolidated EBITDAR for the latest 12 months (LTM) ending March 31, 2015. DTE's current ratings reflect the low risk of its regulated operations, a large capex program focused on growing utility and pipeline investments, a constructive regulatory environment, and an improving economy. The company also benefits from a sufficient liquidity position and manageable debt maturities. Modest Weakness in Credit Metrics: Fitch forecasts DTE's credit metrics to remain commensurate with Fitch's 'BBB' IDR guidelines for utility companies but anticipates the large capital spending program to modestly pressure leverage metrics. Fitch calculates DTE's EBITDAR coverage ratio at 4.7x for the latest 12 months (LTM) period ending March 31, 2015 and leverage as measured by debt-to-EBITDAR at 3.7x. Going forward, Fitch expects consolidated debt-to-EBITDAR to increase to 4.2x through 2017 due to investments associated with the large capex program and moderate regulatory lag. Fitch also expects funds from operations (FFO)/debt metrics to average 23% through 2017, in line with management's FFO/debt target of 20% to 22%. First GRC Filing in Over Four Years: In December 2014, DECo filed its 2015 GRC with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) requesting a $370 million rate increase predicated on a 10.75% return on equity (ROE) and a 50% equity layer. The filing is based on a forward-looking test year and the rate increase primarily reflects $2.8 billion in new net plant additions. The new plant additions include the recent purchase of the 732MW natural gas-fired Renaissance Power Plant from LS Power Group for $240 million as well as the planned purchase of a 300MW Michigan-based simple-cycle natural gas-fired power plant. DECo plans to self-implement rates on or after July, 1, 2015, subject to refund, and a decision by the MPSC is expected by December. Fitch has conservatively modeled a 10% ROE for DECO which approximates recent industry averages. New MI Energy Legislation Expected in 2015: In December 2014, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder broadly outlined the state's future energy policy goals by 2025 and indicated he would like to have new energy legislation in place this year when current Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and Energy Efficiency (EE) targets end. The governor emphasized the increased use of cleaner natural gas and wind resources while reducing the state's reliance on less efficient coal generation and indicated he would seek to increase RPS and EE targets through 2025. Growth in Diversified Businesses; GSP Segment Growing: Fitch expects a strong growth in DTE's non-utility businesses, which will be driven by the GSP and Power and Industrial (P&I) business segments. DTE's GSP and P&I segments comprised 10% and 11% of consolidated net operating income for 2014, respectively, and Fitch expects these business segments may contribute up to 15% each of consolidated net income by 2019. Nexus Gas Pipeline Moves Forward: Fitch views DTE's proposed investment in the Nexus pipeline as favourable due to higher allowed returns on FERC regulated transmission investments and assumes the project will move forward as agreements with several LDC's and key shippers have been executed for the majority of pipeline capacity. DTE and Spectra Energy Corp. are joint developers of NGT, a 250-mile pipeline that will move up to 1.5 billion cubic feet (bcf) of Appalachian shale gas to markets in Michigan, Ohio, Chicago and Ontario, Canada. DTE's expected investment is $700 million. DTE completed a FERC pre-filing for the Nexus pipeline in the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q'14) and has an in-service target date during 4Q'17. High Capex: Capital investments are expected to total approximately $7.2 billion through 2017 including investments in the proposed Nexus Gas transmission pipeline, levels approximately 20% higher than the preceding three year period. Due to the large capex program, both the regulated utilities will need equity support from the parent through 2017 to help maintain their balanced capital structures. In addition, growing natural gas pipeline investments will render DTE to be free cash flow (FCF) negative in the intermediate term, in Fitch's view. DTE will need to fund the deficit by a roughly 50% mix of debt and equity to maintain the present balanced capital structure. Fitch anticipates annual equity issuances at DTE totaling roughly $300 million per year through 2017 through its Dividend Reinvestment Programs (DRIP) and employee pension programs and approximately $300 million increase in parent only long-term debt per annum. Fitch's key assumptions within the rating case for DTE includes: --Maturities of $140 million in 2015, $451 million in 2016, and none in 2017. Future developments that either individually or combined could lead to positive rating actions include: Future developments that either individually or combined could lead to negative rating actions include: --Sustained debt-to-EBITDAR above 4.25x . Fitch expects consolidated credit metrics to be pressured through 2017 as a result of high capex at the utilities. Persistently weak consolidated leverage metrics beyond Fitch's current forecast period could lead to negative rating action for DTE. Sufficient Liquidity and Manageable Maturities: DTE has approximately $1.9 billion of total liquidity available under its respective credit agreements as of March 31, 2015, including $99 million of unrestricted cash and cash equivalents. DTE's consolidated five-year unsecured revolving credit facilities were extended in April and increased by $100 million to $1.9 billion with an April 2020 maturity. The credit facilities are composed of $1.2 billion at DTE, $400 million at DECo, and $300 million at DTE Gas. The facilities have a maximum debt-to-capitalization covenant of 65% and, as of March 31, 2015, DTE was in compliance with consolidated debt-to-capitalization of 49.6% under its credit agreement. Debt maturities over the next four years are manageable and are as follows (excluding securitization maturities): $140 million in 2015, $451 million in 2016, no maturities in 2017, and $400 million in 2018. Maturing debt will be funded through a combination of internal cashflows and external debt refinancings. Additional information is available on www.fitchratings.com. Corporate Rating Methodology - Including Short-Term Ratings and Parent and Subsidiary Linkage (pub. 28 May 2014) Treatment and Notching of Hybrids in Non-Financial Corporate and REIT Credit Analysis (pub. 25 Nov 2014) ALL FITCH CREDIT RATINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CERTAIN LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS. PLEASE READ THESE LIMITATIONS AND DISCLAIMERS BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK: HTTP://FITCHRATINGS.COM/UNDERSTANDINGCREDITRATINGS. IN ADDITION, RATING DEFINITIONS AND THE TERMS OF USE OF SUCH RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLIC WEBSITE 'WWW.FITCHRATINGS.COM'. PUBLISHED RATINGS, CRITERIA AND METHODOLOGIES ARE AVAILABLE FROM THIS SITE AT ALL TIMES. FITCH'S CODE OF CONDUCT, CONFIDENTIALITY, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AFFILIATE FIREWALL, COMPLIANCE AND OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES ARE ALSO AVAILABLE FROM THE 'CODE OF CONDUCT' SECTION OF THIS SITE. FITCH MAY HAVE PROVIDED ANOTHER PERMISSIBLE SERVICE TO THE RATED ENTITY OR ITS RELATED THIRD PARTIES. DETAILS OF THIS SERVICE FOR RATINGS FOR WHICH THE LEAD ANALYST IS BASED IN AN EU-REGISTERED ENTITY CAN BE FOUND ON THE ENTITY SUMMARY PAGE FOR THIS ISSUER ON THE FITCH WEBSITE.


News Article | March 9, 2015
Site: businesswireindia.com

The Ethisphere Institute, the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices, today announced the 2015 World’s Most Ethical Companies®. The latest list includes 132 companies representing more than 50 industries spanning 21 countries and five continents. The World’s Most Ethical Companies is a distinction that honors superior achievement in transparency, integrity, ethics and compliance. Honorees use ethics as a means to further define their industry leadership and embrace the connection by embedding their corporate values into everything they do, every employee they hire, and every partner they bring into their network to ensure they deliver long-term value to key stakeholders including customers, suppliers, regulators, and investors. “Companies today are challenged by a complex and often conflicting set of laws and regulations around the world, yet despite the lack of a global rule of law there’s a growing commonality about how to do business the right way,” explained Ethisphere’s Chief Executive Officer Timothy Erblich. “More and more, we’re finding that stakeholders from employees and customers to executives and investors understand that ethical leadership drives outcomes ranging from operational performance to corporate integrity, transparency, and workforce behavior. We’re delighted to honor these companies who not only understand the various components of what makes a company ethical but are dedicated to building an environment that makes it so.” “This award celebrates doing business the right way and making the right choices every day,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, the only automaker to receive the Ethisphere honor for six consecutive years. “Ethical behavior and good corporate citizenship are not just the right things to do, they also make good business sense.” “U.S. Bank is very honored to be recognized as a World’s Most Ethical Company,” said Richard Davis, chairman, president, and chief executive officer for U.S. Bank. “I am especially proud of our 67,000 employees who personally reflect a high standard of ethics and integrity every day. As a financial institution, the trusted relationship that we have with our customers represents the foundation upon which we operate. Acting ethically and bringing our core values to life in every customer interaction is how we earn and keep that trust.” “I am very proud that Iberdrola has been honored as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for a second year,” said Iberdrola Chairman Ignacio S. Galán. “This is a great recognition for all the professionals who work in our Group following the highest ethical standards that are reflected in the values and vision of our company. I am deeply convinced that ethics is a necessary path to business excellence and that working with integrity and transparency increases our value as a company and reinforces trust among all our stakeholders.” “Ethics and integrity are deeply rooted and ingrained in our culture,” said Keith D. Nosbusch, Rockwell Automation chairman and CEO. “I’m proud of our employees who consistently do the right things, the right way, every day. They differentiate our company, giving us a competitive advantage.” “Spectra Energy is honored to again be named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies,” said Greg Ebel, president and chief executive officer, Spectra Energy. “Our culture of compliance is at the core of who we are. This recognition is a testament to our employees, who make the right choices every day to ensure our company operates with the highest level of integrity.” The 2015 list includes 15 nine-time honorees and 11 first-time honorees and marks the first-time appearance of a company based in Colombia. Among others, the list includes: Accenture, GE, Empresa de Desarrollo Urbano, Google Inc., Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), The Hershey Company, illycaffè spa, Kao Corporation, Marks and Spencer, Milliken & Company, National Australia Bank, Natura Cosméticos, PepsiCo, SingTel, The Rezidor Hotel Group, Voya Financial, and Wipro Limited. The full list of the 2015 World's Most Ethical Companies can be found at http://ethisphere.com/worlds-most-ethical/wme-honorees/. The World's Most Ethical Company assessment is based upon the Ethisphere Institute’s Ethics Quotient™ (EQ) framework developed over years of research to provide a means to assess an organization’s performance in an objective, consistent, and standardized way. The information collected provides a comprehensive sampling of definitive criteria of core competencies, rather than all aspects of corporate governance, risk, sustainability, compliance, and ethics. The EQ framework and methodology is determined, vetted, and refined by the expert advice and insights gleaned from Ethisphere’s network of thought leaders and from the World’s Most Ethical Company Methodology Advisory Panel. Scores are generated in five key categories: ethics and compliance program (35%), corporate citizenship and responsibility (20%), culture of ethics (20%), governance (15%) and leadership, innovation and reputation (10%). Senior executives of honorees contribute high-level insights and best practices to the well-regarded World’s Most Ethical Companies Executive Briefing (download Volume 2 here). Additional insights gleaned from the World’s Most Ethical Companies will be released in a series of whitepapers and infographics over the coming months (download the 2014 Insights). The Ethisphere® Institute is the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel corporate character, marketplace trust, and business success. Ethisphere has deep expertise in measuring and defining core ethics standards using data-driven insights that help companies enhance corporate character. Ethisphere honors superior achievement through its World’s Most Ethical Companies® recognition program, provides a community of industry experts with the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA), and showcases trends and best practices in ethics with the publication of Ethisphere Magazine and The World’s Most Ethical Companies Executive Briefing. Ethisphere is also the leading provider of independent verification of corporate ethics and compliance programs. More information about Ethisphere can be found at: http://ethisphere.com.


SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Questar Corporation (NYSE:STR) reported first-quarter 2015 net income of $84.6 million, or $0.48 per diluted share, compared to first-quarter 2014 net income of $85.1 million, or $0.48 per diluted share. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Adjusted EBITDA) for the quarter were down 1% to $203.6 million compared to $206.3 million in the year-ago period. Return on average common equity (ROE) was 17.7% for the 12 months ended March 31, 2015. “During the first quarter, Questar performed in line with our expectations, with net income and earnings per share (EPS) consistent with last year” said Ronald W. Jibson, Questar chairman, president and CEO. “Questar Gas grew net income by 11%, while Wexpro and Questar Pipeline incomes were down 13% and 11%, respectively, compared to last year’s first quarter, reflecting both the positive impact of the 2014 Utah rate case order for Questar Gas and the negative impact of low commodity prices on near-term development and growth opportunities for Wexpro and Questar Pipeline. Adjusted EBITDA in the first quarter of 2015 was essentially flat, at $204 million, compared to the same quarter in 2014. In spite of continuing low commodity prices and other uncertainties that could still impact 2015, we remain confident in our initial 2015 earnings guidance range of $1.20 to $1.30 per diluted share.” Questar Gas's first-quarter 2015 net income rose 11% to $43.8 million, up from $39.6 million in the first quarter of 2014. Adjusted EBITDA was up 8% to $91.2 million in the current quarter compared to $84.3 million for the 2014 quarter. On a financial basis, Questar Gas earned a 9.6% ROE for the 12 months ended March 31, 2015, compared to an allowed ROE of 9.85% under the 2014 Utah Public Service Commission rate order. Changes in Questar Gas margin (revenues less cost of gas sold) are summarized in the following table: As of March 31, 2015, Questar Gas served nearly 975,200 customers, an increase of over 22,600 customers, or 2.4%. The increase included the addition of over 6,500 customers due to the acquisition of Eagle Mountain City’s gas distribution system during the first quarter. Customer growth has gradually accelerated over the past few years. New customers increased margin by $2.2 million for the quarter. The largest change in margin, $10.9 million, was from the change in general service rates which went into effect during March 2014 and were fully reflected in the first-quarter 2015 comparison to 2014. The infrastructure-replacement program decreased the margin by $6.0 million largely due to being rolled into general rates in March 2014. Another large change in margin occurred in demand-side-management (DSM) cost-recovery revenues, but DSM changes are offset by equivalent changes in the program's expenses. Combined operating and maintenance (O&M) and general and administrative (G&A) expenses, excluding DSM costs, were $37 per customer for the three months ended March 31, 2015, the same as in the 2014 period, reflecting continuing cost-containment efforts and higher customer growth. Questar Gas maintains a long-term infrastructure-upgrade program with a focus on improving safety and reliability. Expenditures under this program are recovered under an infrastructure-cost-tracking mechanism originally approved by Utah regulators in 2010 and subsequently reapproved in 2014. This tracker enables the timely inclusion into rate base of infrastructure upgrades after they are completed and put into service. Questar Gas expects to spend about $65 million for tracker-related infrastructure replacements in 2015, and a similar amount annually through the five-year plan. Wexpro's first-quarter 2015 net income declined 13% to $27.7 million, compared to $31.8 million in the first quarter of 2014. Wexpro earned a 16.5% ROE for the 12 months ended March 31, 2015. Adjusted EBITDA dropped 12% to $67.3 million in the current quarter versus $76.1 million last year. Total investment base at quarter-end was $634.6 million, 8% lower than the year-ago quarter-end. Wexpro’s average investment base was lower in the recent quarter than in the 2014 period resulting in a lower return for Wexpro’s first-quarter 2015 operating results. The investment base decreased primarily due to higher depreciation, depletion and amortization recorded during the trailing 12 months and lower investment in commercial wells over the same period. Note that the first-quarter 2014 investment base also included the $104 million acquisition of the Vermillion Basin Trail Unit. Wexpro earned a 17.7% after-tax return on its average total investment base for the 12 months ended March 31, 2015. This included a 19.6% return on the original Wexpro investment base and a 7.9% return on the acquired assets in the Wexpro II investment base. The original 1981 Wexpro Agreement with the states of Utah and Wyoming allows Wexpro to recover its costs and earn a return on its average investment base. The 2012 Wexpro II Agreement, also with Utah and Wyoming, allows the initial investment in an acquisition to earn a return equal to the Questar Gas’s cost of capital. Subsequent successful development spending would earn the same return as under the 1981 Wexpro Agreement. Revenues from oil and natural gas liquids (NGL) sales decreased 72% in the quarter compared to the same period in 2014 due to lower volumes and lower prices. Wexpro's natural gas production currently provides the majority of the utility's annual gas-supply requirements. Wexpro's goal is to maintain efficient operations and a development program that will provide a cost-of-service gas price on new production that is competitive with the forward price curve of natural gas. A summary of changes in Wexpro's investment base is provided below: In December 2014, Wexpro spent about $52 million to acquire the remaining minority ownership interest in natural gas-producing properties located in the Canyon Creek Unit of southwestern Wyoming's Vermillion Basin. The acquisition increased Wexpro’s working interest from 70% to 100% in these company-operated assets. Under the terms of the Wexpro II Agreement, all Wexpro acquisitions within the footprint of the original 1981 agreement must be offered to the public service commissions of Utah and Wyoming for inclusion as cost-of-service properties. Wexpro continues to look for opportunities to acquire and develop long-lived and low-cost production located close to Questar’s utility markets. Wexpro’s ability to do this can provide substantial long-term benefits to both customers and shareholders. Wexpro expects to spend about $50 million annually on acquisitions. These acquisitions and the development of cost-of-service properties will help ensure the future growth of Wexpro’s investment base and earnings. As previously disclosed, Wexpro recently signed an agreement with a major utility to jointly pursue the acquisition and development of upstream natural gas reserves under a cost-of-service arrangement designed to provide a long-term hedge against volatile commodity prices. Wexpro and its development partner are actively evaluating significant acquisition opportunities to determine if they meet the necessary asset quality, cost and longevity criteria. Such acquisitions could range in size from $50 to $500 million. Wexpro also signed an initial memorandum-of-understanding with a second major utility to develop a cost-of-service framework. While both actions are subject to confidentiality agreements, future disclosure of the terms of these arrangements may occur as additional progress is made on the acquisition and development of properties. Questar Pipeline reported first-quarter 2015 net income of $13.9 million, compared to $15.7 million a year ago. Questar Pipeline generated $42.5 million of Adjusted EBITDA in the first quarter and earned a 10.7% ROE for the 12 months ended March 31, 2015. The lower net income was primarily due to lower NGL revenues, higher O&M costs and a $0.9 million after-tax lower-of-cost-or-market adjustment to the value of natural gas inventory. NGL revenues were down 70% in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the prior-year period, due to significantly lower prices. Increased O&M expenses were primarily driven by higher maintenance and employee-related costs. Questar Pipeline's G&A costs increased 2% for the recent quarter when compared to the same quarter in 2014 due to higher employee-related expenses. Depreciation and amortization expenses were up slightly due to higher average property, plant and equipment levels compared to a year ago. A summary of changes in Questar Pipeline revenues is provided below: At March 31, 2015, Questar Pipeline held net firm-transportation contracts totaling 5,244 thousand decatherms (Mdth) per day, up 3% from 5,068 Mdth per day at March 31, 2014. Overall, revenues were down slightly for the quarter, primarily due to lower NGL and natural gas sales. Increased transportation revenues were driven by higher deliveries for electricity generation. Transportation and storage revenues are generally steady since they are based on fixed-fee demand tariffs and reflect the long-term stability of Questar Pipeline’s transportation and storage contracts. Questar Pipeline and its partner, a unit of Spectra Energy, continue development work on the Inland California Express (ICE) project to potentially recommission the 96-mile western segment of its Southern Trails Pipeline to transport crude oil from Whitewater to Long Beach, Calif. Questar Pipeline is working to optimize the rail terminal design prior to finalizing the acquisition of a preferred site to offload up to 120,000 barrels per day of crude oil into the pipeline for delivery to refineries in Southern California. Once the preferred site is secured, Questar Pipeline will complete preliminary engineering and submit conditional land-use applications. The partners continue to market the project despite the recent decline in crude prices and the volatility of basis differentials between Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude prices. Questar Fueling Company continues to develop as a significant player in the nationwide development of high-capacity fast-fill and time-fill CNG-fueling stations for trucking-fleet operators and motorists who drive natural gas vehicles. Questar Fueling recently opened a new location in Salt Lake City, Utah, anchored by Swift Transportation and Frito-Lay. Questar Fueling now has six fueling facilities in operation in Texas, Kansas and Utah, with six more scheduled to begin operations this year in San Antonio, Texas; Phoenix, Ariz.; Bakersfield and Fontana, Calif.; Denver, Colo.; and Las Vegas, Nev. Even in today’s low-priced gasoline and diesel-fuel market, Questar continues to see significant long-term growth potential for the use of natural gas for transportation and expects to spend $20 to $25 million annually to develop high-capacity CNG-fueling facilities. Corporate and other operations, which include Questar Fueling, reported a net loss of $0.8 million in the first quarter of 2015, compared to a net loss of $2.0 million in the first quarter of 2014. The reduction was primarily due to lower mark-to-market valuations on deferred compensation. Questar Fueling’s portion of the corporate and other net loss was $0.6 million in the recent quarter compared to $0.3 million in the year-ago period. Questar management maintained its 2015 EPS guidance range of $1.20 to $1.30 per diluted share, unchanged from the initial guidance provided earlier this year. “Even with continuing weak commodity prices, we reiterate our initial 2015 EPS guidance range of $1.20 to $1.30 per share,” Jibson said. “Questar Gas’s strong customer growth and the enhanced infrastructure-replacement program support long-term earnings and rate base growth at the utility. However, sustained weak commodity prices continue to limit near-term development and growth opportunities at Wexpro and Questar Pipeline. The silver lining is that those same low commodity prices may help us to acquire and develop additional natural gas properties for cost-of-service treatment. Questar Pipeline continues to develop projects, such as Inland California Express, to maximize the benefit of its businesses for shareholders. And, Questar Fueling continues to make strides as a major player in America’s developing market of CNG fueling for trucking-fleet operators. We continue to invest for the long-term with the goal of helping to make lives better for our customers, employees and shareholders." Questar management will discuss first-quarter 2015 results and the outlook for the remainder of 2015 in a conference call with investors Thursday, April 30, beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET. The call can be accessed on the company website at www.questar.com. Questar is a Rockies-based integrated natural gas company with an enterprise value of about $6 billion, operating through three principal subsidiaries: This document may contain or incorporate by reference information that includes or is based upon "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements give expectations or forecasts of future events. You can identify these statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They use words such as "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe," and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with a discussion of future operating or financial performance. Any or all forward-looking statements may turn out to be wrong. These statements are based on current expectations and the current economic environment. They involve a number of risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to the following: Questar undertakes no obligation to publicly correct or update the forward-looking statements in this document, in other documents, or on the website to reflect future events or circumstances. All such statements are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. For more information, visit Questar's website at www.questar.com. The following table reconciles GAAP net income (loss) and diluted earnings (loss) per common share to non-GAAP adjusted earnings and diluted earnings per common share before the third-quarter 2013 impairment of the eastern segment of Southern Trails Pipeline for the 12 months ended March 31, 2014. The table also reconciles GAAP ROE to non-GAAP adjusted ROE before the impairment charge for the same period. The following table reconciles Questar's net income (loss) to Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended March 31, 2015: The following table reconciles Questar's net income (loss) to Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended March 31, 2014: The following table reconciles Questar's net income (loss) to Adjusted EBITDA for the 12 months ended March 31, 2015: The following table reconciles Questar's net income (loss) to Adjusted EBITDA for the 12 months ended March 31, 2014:


SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Questar Corporation (NYSE:STR) reported first-quarter 2015 net income of $84.6 million, or $0.48 per diluted share, compared to first-quarter 2014 net income of $85.1 million, or $0.48 per diluted share. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (Adjusted EBITDA) for the quarter were down 1% to $203.6 million compared to $206.3 million in the year-ago period. Return on average common equity (ROE) was 17.7% for the 12 months ended March 31, 2015. “During the first quarter, Questar performed in line with our expectations, with net income and earnings per share (EPS) consistent with last year” said Ronald W. Jibson, Questar chairman, president and CEO. “Questar Gas grew net income by 11%, while Wexpro and Questar Pipeline incomes were down 13% and 11%, respectively, compared to last year’s first quarter, reflecting both the positive impact of the 2014 Utah rate case order for Questar Gas and the negative impact of low commodity prices on near-term development and growth opportunities for Wexpro and Questar Pipeline. Adjusted EBITDA in the first quarter of 2015 was essentially flat, at $204 million, compared to the same quarter in 2014. In spite of continuing low commodity prices and other uncertainties that could still impact 2015, we remain confident in our initial 2015 earnings guidance range of $1.20 to $1.30 per diluted share.” Questar Gas's first-quarter 2015 net income rose 11% to $43.8 million, up from $39.6 million in the first quarter of 2014. Adjusted EBITDA was up 8% to $91.2 million in the current quarter compared to $84.3 million for the 2014 quarter. On a financial basis, Questar Gas earned a 9.6% ROE for the 12 months ended March 31, 2015, compared to an allowed ROE of 9.85% under the 2014 Utah Public Service Commission rate order. Changes in Questar Gas margin (revenues less cost of gas sold) are summarized in the following table: As of March 31, 2015, Questar Gas served nearly 975,200 customers, an increase of over 22,600 customers, or 2.4%. The increase included the addition of over 6,500 customers due to the acquisition of Eagle Mountain City’s gas distribution system during the first quarter. Customer growth has gradually accelerated over the past few years. New customers increased margin by $2.2 million for the quarter. The largest change in margin, $10.9 million, was from the change in general service rates which went into effect during March 2014 and were fully reflected in the first-quarter 2015 comparison to 2014. The infrastructure-replacement program decreased the margin by $6.0 million largely due to being rolled into general rates in March 2014. Another large change in margin occurred in demand-side-management (DSM) cost-recovery revenues, but DSM changes are offset by equivalent changes in the program's expenses. Combined operating and maintenance (O&M) and general and administrative (G&A) expenses, excluding DSM costs, were $37 per customer for the three months ended March 31, 2015, the same as in the 2014 period, reflecting continuing cost-containment efforts and higher customer growth. Questar Gas maintains a long-term infrastructure-upgrade program with a focus on improving safety and reliability. Expenditures under this program are recovered under an infrastructure-cost-tracking mechanism originally approved by Utah regulators in 2010 and subsequently reapproved in 2014. This tracker enables the timely inclusion into rate base of infrastructure upgrades after they are completed and put into service. Questar Gas expects to spend about $65 million for tracker-related infrastructure replacements in 2015, and a similar amount annually through the five-year plan. Wexpro's first-quarter 2015 net income declined 13% to $27.7 million, compared to $31.8 million in the first quarter of 2014. Wexpro earned a 16.5% ROE for the 12 months ended March 31, 2015. Adjusted EBITDA dropped 12% to $67.3 million in the current quarter versus $76.1 million last year. Total investment base at quarter-end was $634.6 million, 8% lower than the year-ago quarter-end. Wexpro’s average investment base was lower in the recent quarter than in the 2014 period resulting in a lower return for Wexpro’s first-quarter 2015 operating results. The investment base decreased primarily due to higher depreciation, depletion and amortization recorded during the trailing 12 months and lower investment in commercial wells over the same period. Note that the first-quarter 2014 investment base also included the $104 million acquisition of the Vermillion Basin Trail Unit. Wexpro earned a 17.7% after-tax return on its average total investment base for the 12 months ended March 31, 2015. This included a 19.6% return on the original Wexpro investment base and a 7.9% return on the acquired assets in the Wexpro II investment base. The original 1981 Wexpro Agreement with the states of Utah and Wyoming allows Wexpro to recover its costs and earn a return on its average investment base. The 2012 Wexpro II Agreement, also with Utah and Wyoming, allows the initial investment in an acquisition to earn a return equal to the Questar Gas’s cost of capital. Subsequent successful development spending would earn the same return as under the 1981 Wexpro Agreement. Revenues from oil and natural gas liquids (NGL) sales decreased 72% in the quarter compared to the same period in 2014 due to lower volumes and lower prices. Wexpro's natural gas production currently provides the majority of the utility's annual gas-supply requirements. Wexpro's goal is to maintain efficient operations and a development program that will provide a cost-of-service gas price on new production that is competitive with the forward price curve of natural gas. A summary of changes in Wexpro's investment base is provided below: In December 2014, Wexpro spent about $52 million to acquire the remaining minority ownership interest in natural gas-producing properties located in the Canyon Creek Unit of southwestern Wyoming's Vermillion Basin. The acquisition increased Wexpro’s working interest from 70% to 100% in these company-operated assets. Under the terms of the Wexpro II Agreement, all Wexpro acquisitions within the footprint of the original 1981 agreement must be offered to the public service commissions of Utah and Wyoming for inclusion as cost-of-service properties. Wexpro continues to look for opportunities to acquire and develop long-lived and low-cost production located close to Questar’s utility markets. Wexpro’s ability to do this can provide substantial long-term benefits to both customers and shareholders. Wexpro expects to spend about $50 million annually on acquisitions. These acquisitions and the development of cost-of-service properties will help ensure the future growth of Wexpro’s investment base and earnings. As previously disclosed, Wexpro recently signed an agreement with a major utility to jointly pursue the acquisition and development of upstream natural gas reserves under a cost-of-service arrangement designed to provide a long-term hedge against volatile commodity prices. Wexpro and its development partner are actively evaluating significant acquisition opportunities to determine if they meet the necessary asset quality, cost and longevity criteria. Such acquisitions could range in size from $50 to $500 million. Wexpro also signed an initial memorandum-of-understanding with a second major utility to develop a cost-of-service framework. While both actions are subject to confidentiality agreements, future disclosure of the terms of these arrangements may occur as additional progress is made on the acquisition and development of properties. Questar Pipeline reported first-quarter 2015 net income of $13.9 million, compared to $15.7 million a year ago. Questar Pipeline generated $42.5 million of Adjusted EBITDA in the first quarter and earned a 10.7% ROE for the 12 months ended March 31, 2015. The lower net income was primarily due to lower NGL revenues, higher O&M costs and a $0.9 million after-tax lower-of-cost-or-market adjustment to the value of natural gas inventory. NGL revenues were down 70% in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the prior-year period, due to significantly lower prices. Increased O&M expenses were primarily driven by higher maintenance and employee-related costs. Questar Pipeline's G&A costs increased 2% for the recent quarter when compared to the same quarter in 2014 due to higher employee-related expenses. Depreciation and amortization expenses were up slightly due to higher average property, plant and equipment levels compared to a year ago. A summary of changes in Questar Pipeline revenues is provided below: At March 31, 2015, Questar Pipeline held net firm-transportation contracts totaling 5,244 thousand decatherms (Mdth) per day, up 3% from 5,068 Mdth per day at March 31, 2014. Overall, revenues were down slightly for the quarter, primarily due to lower NGL and natural gas sales. Increased transportation revenues were driven by higher deliveries for electricity generation. Transportation and storage revenues are generally steady since they are based on fixed-fee demand tariffs and reflect the long-term stability of Questar Pipeline’s transportation and storage contracts. Questar Pipeline and its partner, a unit of Spectra Energy, continue development work on the Inland California Express (ICE) project to potentially recommission the 96-mile western segment of its Southern Trails Pipeline to transport crude oil from Whitewater to Long Beach, Calif. Questar Pipeline is working to optimize the rail terminal design prior to finalizing the acquisition of a preferred site to offload up to 120,000 barrels per day of crude oil into the pipeline for delivery to refineries in Southern California. Once the preferred site is secured, Questar Pipeline will complete preliminary engineering and submit conditional land-use applications. The partners continue to market the project despite the recent decline in crude prices and the volatility of basis differentials between Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude prices. Questar Fueling Company continues to develop as a significant player in the nationwide development of high-capacity fast-fill and time-fill CNG-fueling stations for trucking-fleet operators and motorists who drive natural gas vehicles. Questar Fueling recently opened a new location in Salt Lake City, Utah, anchored by Swift Transportation and Frito-Lay. Questar Fueling now has six fueling facilities in operation in Texas, Kansas and Utah, with six more scheduled to begin operations this year in San Antonio, Texas; Phoenix, Ariz.; Bakersfield and Fontana, Calif.; Denver, Colo.; and Las Vegas, Nev. Even in today’s low-priced gasoline and diesel-fuel market, Questar continues to see significant long-term growth potential for the use of natural gas for transportation and expects to spend $20 to $25 million annually to develop high-capacity CNG-fueling facilities. Corporate and other operations, which include Questar Fueling, reported a net loss of $0.8 million in the first quarter of 2015, compared to a net loss of $2.0 million in the first quarter of 2014. The reduction was primarily due to lower mark-to-market valuations on deferred compensation. Questar Fueling’s portion of the corporate and other net loss was $0.6 million in the recent quarter compared to $0.3 million in the year-ago period. Questar management maintained its 2015 EPS guidance range of $1.20 to $1.30 per diluted share, unchanged from the initial guidance provided earlier this year. “Even with continuing weak commodity prices, we reiterate our initial 2015 EPS guidance range of $1.20 to $1.30 per share,” Jibson said. “Questar Gas’s strong customer growth and the enhanced infrastructure-replacement program support long-term earnings and rate base growth at the utility. However, sustained weak commodity prices continue to limit near-term development and growth opportunities at Wexpro and Questar Pipeline. The silver lining is that those same low commodity prices may help us to acquire and develop additional natural gas properties for cost-of-service treatment. Questar Pipeline continues to develop projects, such as Inland California Express, to maximize the benefit of its businesses for shareholders. And, Questar Fueling continues to make strides as a major player in America’s developing market of CNG fueling for trucking-fleet operators. We continue to invest for the long-term with the goal of helping to make lives better for our customers, employees and shareholders." Questar management will discuss first-quarter 2015 results and the outlook for the remainder of 2015 in a conference call with investors Thursday, April 30, beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET. The call can be accessed on the company website at www.questar.com. Questar is a Rockies-based integrated natural gas company with an enterprise value of about $6 billion, operating through three principal subsidiaries: This document may contain or incorporate by reference information that includes or is based upon "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements give expectations or forecasts of future events. You can identify these statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They use words such as "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe," and other words and terms of similar meaning in connection with a discussion of future operating or financial performance. Any or all forward-looking statements may turn out to be wrong. These statements are based on current expectations and the current economic environment. They involve a number of risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are not limited to the following: Questar undertakes no obligation to publicly correct or update the forward-looking statements in this document, in other documents, or on the website to reflect future events or circumstances. All such statements are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. For more information, visit Questar's website at www.questar.com. The following table reconciles GAAP net income (loss) and diluted earnings (loss) per common share to non-GAAP adjusted earnings and diluted earnings per common share before the third-quarter 2013 impairment of the eastern segment of Southern Trails Pipeline for the 12 months ended March 31, 2014. The table also reconciles GAAP ROE to non-GAAP adjusted ROE before the impairment charge for the same period. The following table reconciles Questar's net income (loss) to Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended March 31, 2015: The following table reconciles Questar's net income (loss) to Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended March 31, 2014: The following table reconciles Questar's net income (loss) to Adjusted EBITDA for the 12 months ended March 31, 2015: The following table reconciles Questar's net income (loss) to Adjusted EBITDA for the 12 months ended March 31, 2014:

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