MILWAUKEE, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- At their regularly scheduled meetings today, the boards of directors of Wisconsin Energy Corporation (NYSE: WEC) and Wisconsin Electric Power Company declared the following dividends:
The Wisconsin Energy board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of 40 cents a share on the company's common stock. This represents an increase of 6.25 cents a share over the current quarterly rate and brings the annual rate from $1.35 to $1.60 a share. The dividend is payable March 1, 2010, to stockholders of record on Feb. 12, 2010.
"As we've executed our Power the Future plan, we have invested more than $7 billion over the past decade to improve the energy infrastructure in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan," said Gale Klappa, Wisconsin Energy chairman, president and chief executive.
"In the year 2000, to help finance this significant capital investment, the company reduced its dividend by nearly half from an annual rate of $1.56 a share to 80 cents a share," Klappa said.
"Although we're very pleased to provide for an increase in the dividend this year, we're mindful of the fact that our shareholders are just getting back to a dividend level that is roughly equivalent to where the dividend stood ten years ago. In addition, our dividend payout ratio remains among the lowest in the electric utility industry," Klappa added.
Also today, the board of directors of Wisconsin Electric Power Company declared a quarterly dividend of 90 cents a share on the Preferred Stock, 3.60% Series, payable March 1, 2010, to stockholders of record on Feb. 12, 2010. The board further declared a quarterly dividend of $1.50 a share on the Six Per Cent Preferred Stock payable April 30, 2010, to stockholders of record on April 14, 2010.
Wisconsin Energy Corporation (NYSE: WEC), based in Milwaukee, is one of the nation's premier energy companies, serving more than 1.1 million electric customers in Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula and more than 1 million natural gas customers in Wisconsin. The company's principal utilities are We Energies and Edison Sault Electric. The company's other major subsidiary, We Power, designs, builds and owns electric generating plants. Wisconsin Energy Corporation (www.wisconsinenergy.com), a component of the S&P 500, has more than $12 billion of assets, approximately 5,000 employees and 48,000 stockholders of record.
Wisconsin Electric Power Company, a principal utility subsidiary of Wisconsin Energy Corporation (NYSE: WEC), is now doing business as We Energies. The company serves more than 1.1 million electric customers in Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula and more than 460,000 natural gas customers in Wisconsin. Visit the We Energies Web site at www.we-energies.com.
SOURCE Wisconsin Energy Corporation