CHARLOTTE, N.C., May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy, now with even greater scale and diversity, is well-positioned to lead the electric utility industry in the years ahead, CEO Jim Rogers told company shareholders at their annual meeting today.
"Too often, big means slow and complacent. In contrast, we intend to be agile and innovative. I call it 'readiness for the road ahead,'" Rogers said at the first shareholder meeting since Duke Energy merged with Progress Energy in July 2012, becoming the world's largest publicly traded utility.
"Our board has taken responsible, deliberate and steady steps to ensure we meet the highest standards of corporate governance. We've remained focused on the continued strong performance of the company and positioning Duke Energy for long-term success," Rogers said at his final shareholder meeting as CEO.Rogers completes his seven-year CEO tenure later this year. The board will select a new CEO, also later this year. "We serve a diverse mix of stakeholders – customers, communities, shareholders, employees and retirees. They and others have a stake in what we do and how we do it. We see it as a tremendous responsibility, and we intend to strike the right long-term balance," Rogers said. Post-merger, the company's Carolinas customers are benefitting from cost savings resulting from operation of its power plants as a more efficient, combined fleet, he said. The company's customers also are benefitting from the diversity of the company's regulated generating fleet, mostly a mixture of nuclear, coal and natural gas generation, Rogers said. The company is generating additional efficiencies and cost savings across all six states served by its regulated utilities, "producing greater value for our customers and investors," he said. Delivering to shareholders, protecting the environmentFrom the time Duke Energy announced the merger in January 2011 through the end of 2012, the company produced a total shareholder return of about 32 percent – nearly double the return of the S&P 500 and the Philadelphia Utility Index, which tracks peer companies. So far this year, Duke Energy has produced a total shareholder return of about 19 percent, and its stock price has hovered at or near all-time highs for the past several weeks.