MILWAUKEE, Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The boards of directors of Wisconsin Energy Corporation (NYSE: WEC) and Wisconsin Electric Power Company today declared quarterly dividends. Wisconsin EnergyThe Wisconsin Energy board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of 34 cents a share on the company's common stock, consistent with the plan the board announced at its December 2012 meeting. This represents an increase of 4 cents a share in the current quarterly dividend and raises the annual rate from $1.20 to $1.36 a share. The dividend is payable March 1, 2013, to stockholders of record on Feb. 14, 2013. This marks the 282 nd consecutive quarter – dating back to 1942 – that the company will have paid a dividend to its stockholders. "Today's action by our board marks another positive step toward making our dividend payout more competitive with our peers across the utility industry," said Gale Klappa, chairman, president and chief executive officer. The board took two other significant actions today. It affirmed a policy that calls for the company to reach a dividend payout ratio of 60 percent of earnings in 2014, and it adopted a policy that targets a dividend payout ratio that trends to 65-70 percent of earnings in 2017. "This revised policy is consistent with our key financial goals: to maintain strong 'A' category credit ratings at our utilities and fund new investment opportunities without issuing additional shares of common stock," Klappa said. Wisconsin ElectricThe Wisconsin Electric board of directors today declared a quarterly dividend of 90 cents a share on the Preferred Stock, 3.60% Series, payable March 1, 2013, to stockholders of record on Feb. 14, 2013. The board also declared a quarterly dividend of $1.50 a share on the Six Per Cent Preferred Stock payable April 30, 2013, to stockholders of record on April 12, 2013. Wisconsin Energy Corporation (NYSE: WEC), based in Milwaukee, is one of the nation's premier energy companies, serving more than 1.1 million electric customers in Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula and more than 1 million natural gas customers in Wisconsin. The company's principal utility is We Energies. The company's other major subsidiary, We Power, designs, builds and owns electric generating plants.