COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) continues to deliver shareholder value and is well-positioned to support an earnings growth rate of 4 percent to 6 percent, according to Nicholas K. Akins, AEP's president and chief executive officer. Akins addressed shareholders at the company's annual meeting today in Columbus, Ohio.
Akins announced that AEP's Board of Directors declared the company's 412 th consecutive quarterly common stock dividend and increased the dividend by two cents per quarter to 49 cents per share. This represents a 4.3 percent increase in the dividend from the previous 47 cents per share. AEP has paid a cash dividend on its common stock every quarter since July 1910.
"The recent performance of our stock, coupled with an increase in our dividend and the target we announced in February to increase our dividend payout ratio, demonstrate our commitment to ensuring that AEP remains a solid investment for our shareholders," Akins said. "We have continued to achieve strong financial results by controlling costs and executing on our strategy to successfully manage the rate recovery process in our regulated states and invest in opportunities for growth including our transmission and competitive businesses."
AEP will increase its capital investments to approximately $3.6 billion in 2013, from $3.1 billion in 2012, as the company continues to invest in the development and operation of transmission assets and transitions its generating fleet to comply with new environmental regulations and further diversify its fuel mix.In 2012, AEP brought nearly 1,200 megawatts of new, efficient generation on line, including a combined-cycle natural gas plant in Dresden, Ohio, and the John W. Turk Jr. Power Plant in Arkansas, which is the first coal-fueled power plant in the United States to use advanced ultra-supercritical technology. "The Turk Plant is exceeding our expectations for operational performance. The plant's heat rate is more than 10 percent better than traditional supercritical coal units, which means it uses less fuel and creates fewer emissions to generate the same amount of power. AEP is proud to have pioneered this technology for the benefit of our customers, the economy and the environment," Akins said.