Edison International Cuts Fourth-Quarter Dividend, $100 Million in Costs

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Utility holding company

Edison International

(EIX) - Get Report

said Friday it was eliminating its fourth-quarter common stock dividend and cutting $100 million in costs from its operations and maintenance budgets, affecting 400 contract labor jobs.

The Rosemead, Calif.-based parent of

Southern California Edison

said future dividends would depend on actions by state and federal regulators to reform "California's dysfunctional wholesale electricity markets, bring prices back to more reasonable levels, and allow adequate cost recovery for utility companies."

The fourth-quarter stock dividend would have been paid on Jan.31, 2001. Edison said it has about 85,000 individual shareholders, who "typically invest conservatively for retirement income."

It also said the $100 million reduction in spending will affect "needed investments" in infrastructure, load growth and system automation, as well as "reducing substantially" work done during overtime hours. The company said it started a freeze on hiring, new construction, equipment purchases and service contracts last month.

Shares of Edison closed higher by $1.31, or 8.79%, to $16.25 in Friday trading on the

New York Stock Exchange

.