RICHMOND, Va., Dec. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The board of directors of Dominion (NYSE: D) today established a 2016 dividend rate of $2.80 per share of common stock, up from $2.59 per share in 2015, or an 8.1 percent increase. Subject to board declaration in January, the first quarterly dividend of 70 cents per share will be payable in March 2016. The expected 2016 dividend increase would mark the 13th consecutive year in which the annual dividend rate rose from the previous year's rate.
The board also affirmed the dividend policy it set in February 2015 to pay out to shareholders approximately 70 percent to 75 percent of operating earnings.
Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said:
"The expected dividend rate reflects our commitment to 8 percent annual increases through the end of the decade, and demonstrates confidence in our energy infrastructure growth plan."
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 24,400 megawatts of generation, 12,200 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,490 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 928 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves utility and retail energy customers in 14 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.
Payment of the 2016 dividend is subject to quarterly determination and declaration by the board of directors of specific record and payable dates.
This news release includes certain forward-looking information that is subject to various risks and uncertainties. Words such as "expect," "target," "would," "will," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "intend," "may," "plan," "predict," "project," "should" and similar terms and phrases are used to identify forward-looking statements. Our business is influenced by many factors that are difficult to predict, involve uncertainties that may materially affect actual results and are often beyond our ability to control or estimate precisely, such as the timing and execution of Dominion Midstream's growth strategy. We have identified in our SEC Reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q, and will in the future identify, a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ from those in the forward-looking statements. We refer you to those discussions for further information. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which it is made.