RICHMOND, Va., Dec. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The board of directors of Dominion (NYSE: D) today set a new goal to achieve a 65-70 percent dividend payout ratio. The new policy replaces one established in December 2010 to achieve a 60-65 percent payout ratio. The board also set a 2013 dividend rate of $2.25 per share of common stock, up from $2.11 per share in 2012, or a 6.6 percent increase. Subject to board declaration in January, the first quarterly dividend of 56.25 cents per share will be payable in March 2013.
Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said:
"The new dividend payout ratio and rate reflect the recent refinement of Dominion's business model — reducing our reliance on commodity-based earnings resulting in a more heavily weighted shift in the operating earnings mix toward regulated enterprises — and expected earnings growth. We believe our shareholders should share in the company's success."
The expected 2013 dividend rate increase would mark the 10th consecutive year in which the annual dividend rate rose from the prior year. After such a dividend rate hike, the annual dividend rate will have increased 63 percent since 2006, when Dominion announced it would transform the company by selling its non-Appalachian exploration and production business.
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,400 megawatts of generation, 11,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,300 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 947 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in 15 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.
Payment of the 2013 dividend is subject to quarterly determination and declaration by the board of directors of specific record and payable dates.