On the call were PATH counsel Randy Palmer and Becky Bruner (well, at least Randy said she was there, but we never heard her say a word -- they should have tossed her under the bus once or twice, just to get something in return for that billable hour), Milo Pokrajac, who is apparently not the one holding PATH's bag any longer, and some new accounting patsy named Dave Griffing.
It started out bad when Patience Wait asked them if the $14.7M return (profit) on the PTRR was reflective of PATH's old 14.3% ROE, or their new, lower 12.4% ROE. Of course it's based on the old one, because they haven't filed the revised PTRR for the new one yet. They pretended that they had no idea what the new return amount would be.
Ali Haverty presented them with the dilemma of the amazing, un-depreciating rate base whereby PATH's "suspension" keeps the amount in the rate base stagnant and as a result PATH does nothing but collect a profit year after year. *crickets* I think this is where Dave and Milo threw Randy under the bus for a change. Randy went blathering on about a whole bunch of nothing but basically alluding to the fact that abandonment of the PATH project is just around the corner. No real shocker, right? We all saw that coming.
Robin Huyett Thomas quizzed them about CWIP balances bouncing around like a yo-yo in 2012. They keep trying to blame it on forfeited option payments that are being expensed, but really, they didn't make much sense. Just another question they couldn't answer.
Continuing the theme, Steve Smith tried to get some detail out of them regarding the amount of depreciation showing in the rate template under "Overhead conductors and devices" (for a line that's not been constructed?). Milo told him it was just a small amount that didn't really matter, however Steve countered that $8,500 bucks isn't chump change to him.
Debbie Royalty quizzed them about PATH's A&G expenses in 2012. They're showing $2.4 million in expenses for a project that's sitting on a shelf. Randy said that the $2.4M consisted of, "this call, the ongoing financial review process and 'those types of things.'" Considering that Chorus Call cut the meeting off after the allotted, obligatory hour, maybe someone should ask Randy just how much they're paying him to put on his game face and pretend that PATH is following the Formula Rate Protocols, or that they give a crap at all anymore, $2,399,910.05?
In order to get any real answers to their questions, they were instructed to submit discovery questions (pssst... you don't get real answers that way either, but it's good for a giggle).
PATH also verified again that the piddling amount of land they have already purchased, some $30M of the rate base, would have NEVER depreciated. That $30M only represents a handful of the thousands of properties PATH would have had to pay for, one way or another, if their project had been built. The un-depreciating land just sits in the rate base, year after year, earning (now) 12.4% return (profit) for the PATH Companies. This means you would have been stuck paying for PATH... for eternity. So, thanks, victorious PATH opponents, for kicking this hole in everyone's wallet to the curb.
Now, can't we just get to the flippin' abandonment already and quit torturing each other? How about it, PATH?
Pictures from the PATH Breakfast Meeting Party -- more coming later, we're currently experiencing an "abeyance" of technical cohesion: