Reporting Parameters

Our report follows the spirit of Global Reporting Initiative’s G4 Guidelines and addresses many elements contained in the Electric Utilities Sector Supplement. Our general reporting period is inclusive up to Dec. 31, 2017. Where appropriate, we included historical and/or forward-looking information to provide context and perspective. An internal steering committee oversaw report preparation with guidance from our Corporate Sustainability Council, Executive Leadership Team and internal subject-matter experts. We also engaged outside experts where appropriate.

Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

In this report, Ameren has presented core earnings per share, which is a non-GAAP measure and may not be comparable to those of other companies. A reconciliation of GAAP information to non-GAAP information has been included in this report. Generally, core earnings or losses include earnings or losses attributable to common shareholders and exclude income or loss from significant discrete items that management does not consider representative of ongoing earnings, such as the third quarter 2017 non-cash charge for the revaluation of deferred taxes resulting from a July 2017 change in Illinois law that increased the state's corporate income tax rate and the fourth quarter 2017 non-cash charge for the revaluation of deferred taxes resulting from a December 2017 change in federal law that decreased the federal corporate income tax rate. Ameren uses core earnings internally for financial planning and for analysis of performance. Ameren also uses core earnings as the primary performance measurement when communicating with analysts and investors regarding our earnings results and outlook, as the company believes that core earnings allow the company to more accurately compare its ongoing performance across periods. In providing core earnings guidance, there could be differences between core earnings and earnings prepared in accordance with GAAP as a result of our treatment of certain items, such as that described above. Ameren is unable to estimate the impact, if any, on future GAAP earnings of such future items.

Forward-looking Statements

Statements in this report not based on historical facts are considered “forward-looking” and, accordingly, involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed. Although such forward-looking statements have been made in good faith and are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that the expected results will be achieved. These statements include (without limitation) statements as to future expectations, beliefs, plans, strategies, objectives, events, conditions, and financial performance. In connection with the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, we are providing this cautionary statement to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. The following factors, in addition to those discussed under Risk Factors in Ameren’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017, and elsewhere in this release and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations suggested in such forward-looking statements:

  • regulatory, judicial, or legislative actions, and changes in regulatory policies and ratemaking determinations, such as those that may result from the complaint case filed in February 2015 with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seeking a reduction in the allowed base return on common equity under the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) tariff, Ameren Missouri's proceeding with the Missouri Public Service Commission to pass through to customer rates the effect of the reduction in the federal corporate income tax rate enacted under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), Ameren Illinois' natural gas rate case filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) in January 2018, Ameren Illinois' requests filed with the ICC to pass through to customer rates the effect of the reduction in the federal corporate income tax rate enacted under the TCJA, the request filed by MISO, which includes Ameren Illinois and Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois, with the FERC to allow revisions to 2018 revenue requirements to reflect the impacts of the reduction in the federal corporate income tax rate enacted under the TCJA, actions taken by regulators to address the TCJA, and future regulatory, judicial, or legislative actions that change regulatory recovery mechanisms;
  • the effect of Ameren Illinois' participation in performance-based formula ratemaking frameworks under the Illinois Energy Infrastructure Modernization and the Future Energy Jobs Acts (FEJA), including the direct relationship between Ameren Illinois' return on common equity and 30-year United States Treasury bond yields, and the related financial commitments;
  • the effects of changes in federal, state, or local laws and other governmental actions, including monetary, fiscal, and energy policies;
  • the effects of changes in federal, state, or local tax laws or rates, including additional regulations, interpretations, amendments, or  technical corrections to the TCJA, and any challenges to the tax positions we have taken;
  • the effects on demand for our services resulting from technological advances, including advances in customer energy efficiency and private generation sources, which generate electricity at the site of consumption and are becoming more cost-competitive;
  • the effectiveness of Ameren Missouri's customer energy-efficiency programs and the related revenues and performance incentives earned under its Missouri Energy Efficiency Investment Act plans;
  • Ameren Illinois' ability to achieve FEJA electric energy-efficiency goals and the resulting impact on its allowed return on program investments;
  • our ability to align overall spending, both operating and capital, with frameworks established by our regulators and to recover these costs in a timely manner in our attempt to earn our allowed returns on equity;
  • the cost and availability of fuel, such as ultra-low-sulfur coal, natural gas, and enriched uranium used to produce electricity; the cost and availability of purchased power, zero-emission credits, renewable energy credits, and natural gas for distribution; and the level and volatility of future market prices for such commodities, including our ability to recover the costs for such commodities and our customers' tolerance for any related price increases;
  • disruptions in the delivery of fuel, failure of our fuel suppliers to provide adequate quantities or quality of fuel, or lack of adequate inventories of fuel, including nuclear fuel assemblies from Westinghouse Electric Company, LLC, the Callaway Energy Center's only Nuclear Regulatory Commission-licensed supplier of such assemblies, which is currently in bankruptcy proceedings;
  • the effectiveness of our risk management strategies and our use of financial and derivative instruments;
  • the ability to obtain sufficient insurance, including insurance for Ameren Missouri's Callaway Energy Center, or, in the absence of insurance, the ability to recover uninsured losses from our customers;
  • business and economic conditions, including their impact on interest rates, collection of our receivable balances, and demand for our products;
  • the effects of the TCJA on us and the resulting treatment by regulators will have on our results of operations, financial position, and liquidity;
  • disruptions of the capital markets, deterioration in our credit metrics, including as a result of the implementation of the TCJA, or other events that may have an adverse effect on the cost or availability of capital, including short-term credit and liquidity;
  • the actions of credit rating agencies and the effects of such actions;
  • the impact of adopting new accounting guidance and the application of appropriate accounting rules and guidance;
  • the impact of weather conditions and other natural phenomena on us and our customers, including the impact of system outages;
  • the construction, installation, performance, and cost recovery of generation, transmission, and distribution assets;
  • the effects of breakdowns or failures of equipment in the operation of natural gas transmission and distribution systems and storage facilities, such as leaks, explosions, and mechanical problems, and compliance with natural gas safety regulations;
  • the effects of our increasing investment in electric transmission projects, as well as potential wind and solar generation projects, our ability to obtain all of the necessary approvals to complete the projects, and the uncertainty as to whether we will achieve our expected returns in a timely manner;
  • operation of Ameren Missouri's Callaway Energy Center, including planned and unplanned outages, and decommissioning costs;
  • the effects of strategic initiatives, including mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures;
  • the impact of current environmental regulations and new, more stringent, or changing requirements, including those related to carbon dioxide, other emissions and discharges, cooling water intake structures, coal combustion residuals, and energy efficiency, that are enacted over time and that could limit or terminate the operation of certain of Ameren Missouri's energy centers, increase our costs or investment requirements, result in an impairment of our assets, cause us to sell our assets, reduce our customers' demand for electricity or natural gas, or otherwise have a negative financial effect;
  • the impact of negative opinions of us or our utility services that our customers, legislators, or regulators may have or develop, which could result from a variety of factors, including failures in system reliability, failure to implement our investment plans or protect sensitive customer information, increases in rates, or negative media coverage;
  • the impact of complying with renewable energy portfolio requirements in Missouri and Illinois;
  • labor disputes, work force reductions, future wage and employee benefits costs, including changes in discount rates, mortality tables, and returns on benefit plan assets;
  • the inability of our counterparties to meet their obligations with respect to contracts, credit agreements, and financial instruments;
  • the cost and availability of transmission capacity for the energy generated by Ameren Missouri's energy centers or required to satisfy Ameren Missouri's energy sales;
  • legal and administrative proceedings;
  • the impact of cyber attacks, which could, among other things, result in the loss of operational control of energy centers and electric and natural gas transmission and distribution systems and/or the loss of data, such as customer, employee, financial, and operating system information; and
  • acts of sabotage, war, terrorism, or other intentionally disruptive acts.

New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for management to predict all of such factors, nor can it assess the impact of each such factor on the business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained or implied in any forward-looking statement. Given these uncertainties, undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements. Except to the extent required by the federal securities laws, we undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect new information or future events.