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The AES Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Now turning to Slide 5. Let me provide some color on how we're optimizing our capital allocation and considering all uses of discretionary tax, including delevering, share repurchases, growth project and increases in our dividend to improve our total shareholder return. Over the last 9 months, we have made early repayment on approximately $500 million of debt between repaying the corporate revolver and paying down the expensive debt at our Brasiliana subsidiary in Brazil. With respect to share repurchases, since our last call, we have bought back more than 20 million shares for a total investment of $252 million. This brings our cumulative share repurchases since September to 29 million shares or about 4% of those outstanding. Our total investment in our stock since September is more than $341 million, implying an average purchase price of $11.57 per share. Additionally, last week, the board approved a quarterly dividend of $0.04 per share, our first cash dividend payment in almost 20 years. We expect to grow the dividend over time in accordance with the performance of the company and market conditions. The dividend is and will remain an integral part of our total value proposition.

Now please turn to Slide 6. And let's discuss our actions to improve our profitability. We've committed to achieving $50 million of cost savings at the parent level in 2012 and a total of $100 million in cost savings per year by the end of 2013. For 2012, we expect to exceed our target and are now projecting at least $65 million in savings this year as we've already reduced SG&A by $31 million during the first 6 months.

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