MILWAUKEE, Jan. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The board of directors of WEC Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE: WEC) today declared a quarterly cash dividend of 52 cents per share on the company's common stock, an increase of 5.1 percent over the current quarterly dividend of 49.50 cents a share. This raises the annual dividend rate to $2.08 a share.
The higher dividend is payable March 1, 2017, to stockholders of record on Feb. 14, 2017. This marks the 298th consecutive quarter – dating back to 1942 – that the company will have paid a dividend to its stockholders.
"With today's action by our board, 2017 will be the fourteenth consecutive year of dividend increases for our stockholders," said Allen Leverett, chief executive officer. "We will continue to target a dividend payout of 65 to 70 percent of earnings, a policy in line with our peers across the utility industry."
WEC Energy Group (NYSE: WEC), based in Milwaukee, is one of the nation's premier energy companies, serving 4.4 million customers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and Minnesota.
The company's principal utilities are We Energies, Wisconsin Public Service, Peoples Gas, North Shore Gas, Michigan Gas Utilities, Minnesota Energy Resources and Upper Michigan Energy Resources. The company's other major subsidiary, We Power, designs, builds and owns electric generating plants.
WEC Energy Group (wecenergygroup.com), a component of the S&P 500, has approximately $29 billion of assets, 8,000 employees and 55,000 stockholders of record.
Certain statements contained in this press release are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements are based upon management's current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in the statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these statements. Forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements concerning management's expectations and projections regarding dividend payments and payout ratios. In some cases, forward-looking statements may be identified by reference to a future period or periods or by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "anticipates", "believes," "estimates," "expects," "forecasts," "guidance," "intends," "may," "objectives," "plans," "possible," "potential," "projects," "should," "targets," "will" or similar terms or variations of these terms.
Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in any forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: general economic conditions, including business and competitive conditions in the company's service territories; timing, resolution and impact of rate cases and other regulatory decisions; the company's ability to successfully integrate the operations of the Integrys companies; availability of the company's generating facilities and/or distribution systems; unanticipated changes in fuel and purchased power costs; key personnel changes; varying weather conditions; continued industry consolidation; timing, resolution and impact of regulatory proceedings and decisions; continued adoption of distributed generation by the company's customers; energy conservation efforts; cybersecurity threats; construction risks; equity and bond market fluctuations; the impact of any legislative and regulatory changes, including changes to environmental standards and tax laws; current and future litigation and regulatory investigations; changes in accounting standards; the financial performance of the American Transmission Company; goodwill and its possible impairment; and other factors described under the heading "Factors Affecting Results, Liquidity and Capital Resources" in Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and under the headings "Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information" and "Risk Factors" contained in the company's Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2015, and in subsequent reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company disclaims any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking information.
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SOURCE WEC Energy Group