TECO Energy announces 2011 dividend increase
Company adopts dividend payout ratio target and a new dividend review schedule
TAMPA, February 24, 2011
TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE:TE) today announced at its regularly scheduled meeting that the Board of Directors set a 2011 dividend rate of $0.85 per share, up 3.7% from the current $0.82 per share. Subject to quarterly Board declarations, a quarterly dividend of $0.215 per share will be payable for the remaining three quarters of 2011. Concurrent with setting the 2011 dividend rate, the Board of Directors set a dividend policy that targets a payout ratio in a range between 60% and 70% of consolidated TECO Energy earnings per share, excluding charges or gains. Historically, the TECO Energy Board has considered the annual dividend rate at its second quarter meeting. Going forward, the review will occur at the Board’s first quarter meeting.
TECO Energy President and Chief Executive Officer John Ramil said, “Our 2011 dividend payment marks 87 consecutive years of cash dividends to our shareholders. We believe that the policy set by the Board demonstrates our commitment to providing strong total shareholder returns, and our long-term ability to grow earnings. We’ve told investors that our goal was to return to a pattern of sustainable dividend growth, and today’s announcement supports that. The change in our annual dividend policy review schedule will better align our dividend decisions with our providing of annual earnings guidance.”
TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: TE) is an energy-related holding company. Its principal subsidiary, Tampa Electric Company, is a regulated utility in Florida with both electric and gas divisions (Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas System). Other subsidiaries include TECO Coal, which owns and operates coal production facilities in Kentucky and Virginia , and TECO Guatemala, which is engaged in electric power generation and energy-related businesses in Guatemala.
Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are subject to the inherent uncertainties in predicting future results and conditions. Actual results may differ materially from those forecasted. The forecasted results are based on the company's current expectations and assumptions, and the company does not undertake to update that information or any other information contained in this press release, except as may be required by law. Any future dividends, including those in 2011, are subject to the decision of the Board of Directors at the time of declaration. Such decisions will be dependent upon many factors, including TECO Energy’s financial outlook and the factors that could impact its actual results. Factors that could impact actual results include: regulatory actions by federal, state or local authorities; unexpected capital needs or unanticipated reductions in cash flow that affect liquidity; the ability to access the capital and credit markets when required; the availability of adequate rail transportation capacity for the shipment of TECO Coal's production; general economic conditions affecting energy sales at the utility companies; economic conditions, both national and international, affecting the Florida economy and demand for TECO Coal 's production; weather variations and changes in customer energy usage patterns affecting sales and operating costs at Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas and the effect of extreme weather conditions or hurricanes; operating conditions, commodity prices; operating cost and environmental or safety rule changes affecting the production levels and margins at TECO Coal; fuel cost recoveries and related cash at Tampa Electric and natural gas demand at Peoples Gas; and the ability of TECO Energy's subsidiaries to operate equipment without undue accidents, breakdowns or failures. Additional information is contained under "Risk Factors" in TECO Energy, Inc.'s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended Dec. 31, 2009, and as updated in subsequent SEC filings.