JUNO BEACH, Fla., Feb. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The board of directors of NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE) today declared a regular quarterly common stock dividend of $1.40 per share, up 12% versus the prior-year comparable quarterly dividend. This increase is consistent with the plan announced in 2018 of targeting 12% to 14% annual growth in dividends per share through at least 2020, off a 2017 base. The dividend is payable on March 16, 2020, to shareholders of record on Feb. 28, 2020.
The board also approved an updated dividend policy for beyond 2020, which is expected to translate to a growth rate in dividends per share of roughly 10% per year through at least 2022, off a 2020 base, which is expected to be $5.60 per share.
"The board's approval to continue to grow our dividends per share in excess of our expected adjusted earnings per share growth rate is a result of our success in executing on our industry-leading business strategy," said Jim Robo, chairman and chief executive officer of NextEra Energy. "With a 60% payout ratio at the end of 2019, well below the peer average of approximately 65%, and the continued strength of the earnings and operating cash flow growth at NextEra Energy, we remain well-positioned to support the dividend policy going forward. I believe we continue to offer a best-in-class total return potential, with above-average dividend growth and clear visibility to deliver financial results at or near the top end of our adjusted earnings per share expectations ranges in 2020, 2021 and 2022, while at the same time maintaining our strong credit ratings."
NextEra Energy, Inc. NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE) is a leading clean energy company headquartered in Juno Beach, Florida. NextEra Energy owns two electric companies in Florida: Florida Power & Light Company, which serves more than 5 million customer accounts in Florida and is one of the largest rate-regulated electric utilities in the United States; and Gulf Power Company, which serves more than 470,000 customers in eight counties throughout northwest Florida. NextEra Energy also owns a competitive energy business, NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun and a world leader in battery storage. Through its subsidiaries, NextEra Energy generates clean, emissions-free electricity from eight commercial nuclear power units in Florida, New Hampshire, Iowa and Wisconsin. A Fortune 200 company and included in the S&P 100 index, NextEra Energy has been recognized often by third parties for its efforts in sustainability, corporate responsibility, ethics and compliance, and diversity. NextEra Energy is ranked No. 1 in the electric and gas utilities industry on Fortune's 2020 list of "World's Most Admired Companies" and ranked among the top 25 on Fortune's 2018 list of companies that "Change the World." For more information about NextEra Energy companies, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.FPL.com, www.GulfPower.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.
Cautionary Statements and Risk Factors That May Affect Future Results for NextEra Energy, Inc.
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are not statements of historical facts, but instead represent the current expectations of NextEra Energy, Inc. (together with its subsidiaries, NextEra Energy) regarding future operating results and other future events, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of NextEra Energy's control. Forward-looking statements in this news release include, among others, statements concerning adjusted earnings per share expectations and future operating performance, statements concerning future dividends, and results of acquisitions. In some cases, you can identify the forward-looking statements by words or phrases such as "will," "may result," "expect," "anticipate," "believe," "intend," "plan," "seek," "potential," "projection," "forecast," "predict," "goals," "target," "outlook," "should," "would" or similar words or expressions. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are not a guarantee of future performance. The future results of NextEra Energy and its business and financial condition are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, or may require it to limit or eliminate certain operations. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: effects of extensive regulation of NextEra Energy's business operations; inability of NextEra Energy to recover in a timely manner any significant amount of costs, a return on certain assets or a reasonable return on invested capital through base rates, cost recovery clauses, other regulatory mechanisms or otherwise; impact of political, regulatory and economic factors on regulatory decisions important to NextEra Energy; disallowance of cost recovery based on a finding of imprudent use of derivative instruments; effect of any reductions or modifications to, or elimination of, governmental incentives or policies that support utility scale renewable energy projects or the imposition of additional tax laws, policies or assessments on renewable energy; impact of new or revised laws, regulations, interpretations or ballot or regulatory initiatives on NextEra Energy; capital expenditures, increased operating costs and various liabilities attributable to environmental laws, regulations and other standards applicable to NextEra Energy; effects on NextEra Energy of federal or state laws or regulations mandating new or additional limits on the production of greenhouse gas emissions; exposure of NextEra Energy to significant and increasing compliance costs and substantial monetary penalties and other sanctions as a result of extensive federal regulation of its operations and businesses; effect on NextEra Energy of changes in tax laws, guidance or policies as well as in judgments and estimates used to determine tax-related asset and liability amounts; impact on NextEra Energy of adverse results of litigation; effect on NextEra Energy of failure to proceed with projects under development or inability to complete the construction of (or capital improvements to) electric generation, transmission and distribution facilities, gas infrastructure facilities or other facilities on schedule or within budget; impact on development and operating activities of NextEra Energy resulting from risks related to project siting, financing, construction, permitting, governmental approvals and the negotiation of project development agreements; risks involved in the operation and maintenance of electric generation, transmission and distribution facilities, gas infrastructure facilities, retail gas distribution system in Florida and other facilities; effect on NextEra Energy of a lack of growth or slower growth in the number of customers or in customer usage; impact on NextEra Energy of severe weather and other weather conditions; threats of terrorism and catastrophic events that could result from terrorism, cyber attacks or other attempts to disrupt NextEra Energy's business or the businesses of third parties; inability to obtain adequate insurance coverage for protection of NextEra Energy against significant losses and risk that insurance coverage does not provide protection against all significant losses; a prolonged period of low gas and oil prices could impact NextEra Energy's gas infrastructure business and cause NextEra Energy to delay or cancel certain gas infrastructure projects and could result in certain projects becoming impaired; risk of increased operating costs resulting from unfavorable supply costs necessary to provide full energy and capacity requirement services; inability or failure to manage properly or hedge effectively the commodity risk within its portfolio; effect of reductions in the liquidity of energy markets on NextEra Energy's ability to manage operational risks; effectiveness of NextEra Energy's risk management tools associated with its hedging and trading procedures to protect against significant losses, including the effect of unforeseen price variances from historical behavior; impact of unavailability or disruption of power transmission or commodity transportation facilities on sale and delivery of power or natural gas; exposure of NextEra Energy to credit and performance risk from customers, hedging counterparties and vendors; failure of counterparties to perform under derivative contracts or of requirement for NextEra Energy to post margin cash collateral under derivative contracts; failure or breach of NextEra Energy's information technology systems; risks to NextEra Energy's retail businesses from compromise of sensitive customer data; losses from volatility in the market values of derivative instruments and limited liquidity in OTC markets; impact of negative publicity; inability to maintain, negotiate or renegotiate acceptable franchise agreements; occurrence of work strikes or stoppages and increasing personnel costs; NextEra Energy's ability to successfully identify, complete and integrate acquisitions, including the effect of increased competition for acquisitions; the inability to realize the anticipated benefits of the Gulf Power Company acquisition; environmental, health and financial risks associated with ownership and operation of nuclear generation facilities; liability of NextEra Energy for significant retrospective assessments and/or retrospective insurance premiums in the event of an incident at certain nuclear generation facilities; increased operating and capital expenditures and/or reduced revenues at nuclear generation facilities resulting from orders or new regulations of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; inability to operate any of NextEra Energy's owned nuclear generation units through the end of their respective operating licenses or through expected shutdown; effect of disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the credit and capital markets or actions by third parties in connection with project-specific or other financing arrangements on NextEra Energy's ability to fund its liquidity and capital needs and meet its growth objectives; inability to maintain current credit ratings; impairment of liquidity from inability of credit providers to fund their credit commitments or to maintain their current credit ratings; poor market performance and other economic factors that could affect NextEra Energy's defined benefit pension plan's funded status; poor market performance and other risks to the asset values of nuclear decommissioning funds; changes in market value and other risks to certain of NextEra Energy's investments; effect of inability of NextEra Energy subsidiaries to pay upstream dividends or repay funds to NextEra Energy or of NextEra Energy's performance under guarantees of subsidiary obligations on NextEra Energy's ability to meet its financial obligations and to pay dividends on its common stock; the fact that the amount and timing of dividends payable on NextEra Energy's common stock, as well as the dividend policy approved by NextEra Energy's board of directors from time to time, and changes to that policy, are within the sole discretion of NextEra Energy's board of directors and, if declared and paid, dividends may be in amounts that are less than might be expected by shareholders; NEP's inability to access sources of capital on commercially reasonable terms could have an effect on its ability to consummate future acquisitions and on the value of NextEra Energy's limited partner interest in NextEra Energy Operating Partners, LP; and effects of disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the credit and capital markets on the market price of NextEra Energy's common stock. NextEra Energy discusses these and other risks and uncertainties in its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018 and other SEC filings, and this news release should be read in conjunction with such SEC filings made through the date of this news release. The forward-looking statements made in this news release are made only as of the date of this news release and NextEra Energy undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements.