Quantcast

Williams Announces 34% Increase in 2008 Earnings Guidance

June 25, 2008

TULSA, Okla., June 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Williams announced today it has increased its consolidated segment profit and earnings per share guidance for 2008 and 2009.

Williams has increased its 2008 consolidated recurring segment profit guidance to a range of $3.1 billion to $3.65 billion and earnings per share to a range of $2.30 to $2.80. The previous ranges were $2.5 billion to $3.0 billion and $1.70 to $2.10, respectively. For 2009, Williams has increased its consolidated segment profit guidance to a range of $2.9 billion to $3.8 billion and earnings per share to a range of $2.05 to $2.90. The previous ranges were $2.6 billion to $3.2 billion and $1.80 to $2.30, respectively.

All consolidated segment profit and earnings per share ranges are presented on a recurring basis adjusted to remove the effect of mark-to-market accounting. A reconciliation of the company’s income from continuing operations to recurring income from continuing operations and mark-to-market adjustments is available as an attachment to this news release. The latest previous guidance ranges were released on May 1, along with the company’s first-quarter 2008 financial results.

The increase in earnings guidance primarily reflects the company’s more favorable outlook for commodity prices during 2008 and 2009. The more favorable prices are expected to benefit the company’s exploration & production and midstream businesses. A chart attached to the end of this press release includes the guidance updates for the business segments and Williams in total.

For 2008 the company now expects unhedged natural gas prices ranging from $9.00 to $10.50 per Mcfe (Henry Hub) and crude oil pricing in the range of $100 to $120 per barrel (West Texas Intermediate). Also for 2008, the company now expects average natural gas liquid (NGL) margins of 57 to 68 cents per barrel, up from previous guidance of 42 to 53 cents.

For 2009, the company now expects unhedged natural gas prices ranging from $8.00 to $10.50 per Mcfe (Henry Hub) and crude oil pricing in the range of $80 to $120 per barrel (WTI). For 2009, the company now expects average NGL margins of 43 to 71 cents per barrel, up from previous guidance of 34 to 55 cents.

Growth Projects Drive Increase in Capital Expenditure Guidance

Williams also is updating its capital expenditure guidance for 2008 and 2009. The new range for 2008 is $3.03 billion to $3.38 billion, up from the previous range of $2.6 billion to $2.95 billion. For 2009, the new range is $2.63 billion to $3.03 billion, compared with the previous range of $2.3 billion to $2.7 billion.

Williams’ recent acquisition of 24,000 net acres in the Piceance Basin and the associated increase in drilling activity are the primary drivers of the increase in capital expenditure guidance in 2008 and 2009. The recently announced planned expansion of the Echo Springs cryogenic processing plant is also driving the 2009 increase.

A chart attached to the end of this press release includes the capital expenditure guidance updates for the business segments and Williams in total.

While the company has previously stated it was investigating numerous investment opportunities not yet included its capital expenditure guidance, it will now provide capital expenditure expectations for these potential future projects. The inclusion of potential future project expectations is designed to provide investors with Williams’ current views on total potential capital in the given year.

For 2008, Williams has identified $100 million to $300 million in potential future projects, setting its total potential capital for the year at a range of $3.13 billion to $3.68 billion.

For 2009, Williams has identified $400 million to $800 million in potential future projects, setting its total potential capital for the year at a range of $3.03 billion to $3.83 billion.

The company is also reviewing additional investment opportunities it may pursue and add to total potential capital expenditures for 2008 and 2009.

Update on Share Repurchase Program

In July 2007, Williams announced that its board of directors authorized the repurchase of up to $1 billion of the company’s common stock. The stock-repurchase program has no expiration date.

Through June 19, 2008, the company has purchased approximately 24.5 million shares for $840 million under the program at an average cost of $34.23 per share.

Today’s Analyst Meeting to be Webcast Live

Williams’ senior management will discuss the updated earnings and capital expenditure outlook in an analyst meeting the company is hosting today in New York City. The meeting will include highlights and overviews of Williams and the master limited partnerships Williams Partners L.P. and Williams Pipeline Partners L.P. .

The meeting will be broadcast live via webcast, beginning at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Participants are encouraged to access the webcast at http://www.williams.com/, http://www.williamslp.com/ or http://www.williamspipelinepartners.com/. Slides are available on all three web sites for viewing, downloading and printing.

A limited number of phone lines also will be available at (877) 810-7934. International callers should dial (706) 902-3248. A replay of the analyst meeting webcast will be available for two weeks following the event at the web sites listed above.

   Recurring Segment Profit Guidance    Dollars in millions        2008                           2009                     June 25         May 1          June 25        May 1                     Guidance       Guidance       Guidance       Guidance    Exploration    & Production $1,350 - 1,700 $1,000 - 1,300 $1,250 - 1,750 $1,100 - 1,400   Midstream Gas    & Liquids     1,100 - 1,300    775 - 1,025  1,000 - 1,400    850 - 1,150   Gas Pipeline     625 - 675      625 - 675      640 - 690      640 - 690   Gas Marketing   (20) - 10      (10) - 10      (10) - 30         5 - 30    Total Recurring    Before MTM    Adj.*        $3,110 - 3,660 $2,510 - 3,010 $2,930 - 3,830 $2,630 - 3,230    MTM Adjustment     (10)           (10)           (30)           (30)    Total Recurring    After MTM    Adjustment   $3,100 - 3,650 $2,500 - 3,000 $2,900 - 3,800 $2,600 - 3,200    * Sum of the ranges for the business units does not match the consolidated     total due to the offsetting effect of natural gas prices within the     business units. Also, corporate and other is not forecast separately     but is included in the total guidance.      Capital Expenditure Guidance    Dollars in millions          2008                          2009                        June 25      May 1           June 25        May 1                       Guidance     Guidance        Guidance       Guidance    Exploration    & Production  $1,800 - 2,000 $1,450 - 1,650 $1,625 - 1,825 $1,450 - 1,650   Midstream Gas    & Liquids        800 - 850      700 - 750      600 - 650      450 - 500   Gas Pipeline      350 - 450      360 - 495      400 - 550      400 - 550   Gas Marketing         -              -              -              -   Other/Corporate    60 - 90        60 - 90        10 - 30        10 - 30    Total          $3,025 - 3,375 $2,600 - 2,950 $2,625 - 3,025 $2,300 - 2,700    Potential    Future Projects  100 - 300          -          400 - 800          -    Total Potential    Capital       $3,125 - 3,675        -       $3,025 - 3,825        -    The sum of ranges for each business line does not necessarily match total   range.      About Williams   

Williams, through its subsidiaries, finds, produces, gathers, processes and transports natural gas. Williams’ operations are concentrated in the Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains, Gulf Coast, and Eastern Seaboard. More information is available at http://www.williams.com/. Go to http://www.b2i.us/irpass.asp?BzID=630&to=ea&s=0 to join our e-mail list.

    Contact:          Jeff Pounds                      Williams (media relations)                      (918) 407-2611                       Travis Campbell                      Williams (investor                      relations)                      (918) 573-2944                       Sharna Reingold                      Williams (investor                      relations)                      (918) 573-2078   

Portions of this document may constitute “forward-looking statements” as defined by federal law. Although the company believes any such statements are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that actual outcomes will not be materially different. Any such statements are made in reliance on the “safe harbor” protections provided under the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995. Additional information about issues that could lead to material changes in performance is contained in the company’s annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

   Non-GAAP Reconciliation    2008-09 Forecast Guidance Contribution   Dollars in millions,    except per-share amounts                                                 2008              2009   Income from Continuing Operations:      $1,458 - 1,758    $1,250 - 1,760     Non-Recurring Items (Pretax)               (118)               -     Less Taxes                                  (45)               -     Non-Recurring After Tax                     (73)               -   Recurring Income from Cont. Ops.         1,385 - 1,685     1,250 - 1,760   Recurring EPS                            $2.31 - $2.81     $2.08 - $2.93     Mark-to-Market Adjustment (Pretax)         (10)              (30)     Less Taxes (39%)                            (4)              (12)     Mark-to-Market Adjust. After Tax            (6)              (18)   Inc. from Cont. Ops. After MTM Adj.      1,379 - 1,679     1,232 - 1,742   Inc. from Cont. Ops. After MTM Adj. EPS  $2.30 - $2.80     $2.05 - $2.90      Non-GAAP Reconciliation    2008-09 Reported Segment Profit    Dollars in millions        2008                          2009                      June 25        May 1          June 25         May 1                     Guidance       Guidance       Guidance        Guidance    Exploration    & Production $1,468 - 1,818 $1,118 - 1,418 $1,250 - 1,750 $1,100 - 1,400   Midstream Gas    & Liquids     1,100 - 1,300    775 - 1,025  1,000 - 1,400    850 - 1,150   Gas Pipeline     625 - 675      625 - 675      640 - 690      640 - 690   Gas Marketing   (20) - 10      (10) - 10      (10) - 30         5 - 30    Total Reported    Before    MTM Adj.*    $3,228 - 3,778 $2,628 - 3,128 $2,930 - 3,830 $2,630 - 3,230   MTM Adjustment     (10)           (10)           (30)           (30)   Total Reported    After    MTM Adj.     $3,218 - 3,768 $2,618 - 3,118 $2,900 - 3,800 $2,600 - 3,200   Nonrecurring    Items             (118)          (118)            -              -    Total Recurring    After    MTM Adj.     $3,100 - 3,650 $2,500 - 3,000 $2,900 - 3,800 $2,600 - 3,200    Gas Marketing    After    MTM Adj.      ($30) - 0      ($20) - 0      ($40) - 0      ($25) - 0    * Sum of the ranges for the business units does not match the consolidated     total due to the offsetting effect of natural gas prices within the     business units.  Also, corporate and other is not forecast separately     but is included in the total guidance.  

Williams

CONTACT: media relations, Jeff Pounds, +1-918-407-2611, or investorrelations, Travis Campbell, +1-918-573-2944, or Sharna Reingold,+1-918-573-2078, all of Williams

Web site: http://www.williams.com/




comments powered by Disqus