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Evergy considers shifting some capex from Kansas to Missouri

Evergy Inc. identified about $150 million of planned capital expenditure the company is considering shifting from Kansas to Missouri through the 2022 time frame.

"To be clear, this preliminary number maintained our current $6 billion capex projection but reallocates the portion from one jurisdiction to another. This reflects our plan to allocate capital to its highest and best use," Evergy President and CEO Terry Bassham said during an Aug. 8 earnings conference call.

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Source: Evergy's second-quarter investor presentation

The strategy would allow the company to target jurisdictions with less regulatory lag and that provide higher incentive and infrastructure investment, Bassham said.

"In particular, Missouri has a [plant-in-service accounting] opportunity where we can invest additional dollars without creating additional lag during this period without rate cases, a mechanism that Kansas doesn't have," CFO Anthony Somma said. "So it's an obvious first step in that process, and we're going to continue to look for additional opportunities both from that perspective and from just the long-term growth."

Evergy is also looking into opportunities for incremental capex over the next few years.

"At this point, because we haven't finished our work is if we just calculate a cap on what [plant-in-service accounting] would allow, it could be just shy of $1 billion. Again, before we come out with a plan related to that, we want to talk about timing and process and project to be very definitive," Bassham said.

Evergy will also update its Edison Electric Institute environmental, social, governance and sustainability-related template in coming weeks to include 2018 data, the first template to include consolidated data from the company, which was previously reported separately by Kansas City Power & Light Co. and Westar Energy Inc. The company will also refile its 2018 sustainability report.

Evergy posted second-quarter non-GAAP adjusted earnings of $140.3 million, or 58 cents per diluted share, compared to $179.1 million, or 67 cents per diluted share, in the same period in 2018.

The company reaffirmed 2019 adjusted earnings guidance of $2.80 to $3.00 per share.