Scana Backs Forecast

It expects to make $2.80 to $2.95 the share.
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Utility company



reaffirmed its full year earnings guidance of $2.80 to $2.95 a share, excluding 5 cents a share of option expenses in the first quarter.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of $2.88 a share for this year.

The company said it aims to achieve average annual earnings growth of 4% to 6% over the next three to five years.

The Columbia, S.C.-based company also said its goal is to increase the annual cash dividend on common stock at a rate consistent with the expected earnings growth, while maintaining a payout ratio of 55% to 60%.

Scana reiterated its commitment to reduce its overall leverage. It expects that additional internal cash combined with the new equity expected from sales of common stock will help reduce the debt component of its total capitalization to 50% to 52% in 2007.

The company's stock was trading at $38.21, down 19 cents Tuesday.

This story was created through a joint venture between and IRIS.