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Wisconsin Energy Management Presents At Goldman Sachs 11th Annual Power And Utility Conference (Transcript)

Stocks in this article: WEC

George Liparidis

Well, I'll speak on the international side. What we've seen is in the countries that we've invested outside of the US are very competitive environment for asset acquisitions or greenfield projects that get bid by government entities. So it’s a constant battle to get new investments going in these countries because its competitive. But at the same time, we are finding a lot of opportunities given the environment that we're operating in. so relative to the US, there is a lot more projects that can be developed or structured with limited competition. So it allows us to have very good returns on those projects regardless of what the interest rate or the cost are for funds.

Ray Leung

May be Rick, can you talk a little bit about what Wisconsin, like you've gone through a large capital program now you have all this cash potentially from that but are there things that you can do on capital structure that you sort of look through in this interest rate environment?

Rick Kuester

Well, Ray, basically as you said, we're coming through a large, we just finished a large construction program and just as white background we are basically primarily a regulated utility with basically all of our investments in the US. So our first priority is to meet cost per needs by reinvesting in the business and earning a competitive return within the context of regulation. And reinvesting in the business by define our core business as our regulated utilities where we earn 10.4%. our investment in American transmission company where we earn 12.2% and then from time to time we have incremental investment needs in our power to future units where we earn 12.7%. so that's our first priority in terms of how we allocate our capital. We've also recently at the beginning of the year increased our dividend by 15% and the board has looked at our policy around dividend payout and has indicated that we are going to move our payout ratio to 60% which we think is competitive within the industry and we are going to do that by 2013 and that would imply double digit increases over the next couple years.

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