COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) will discuss fourth-quarter and 2012 earnings results, the company's 2013 business plan, expected capital investment and its growth strategy during a meeting today with investors in New York. The company established its operating earnings guidance range (earnings excluding special items) for 2013 of $3.05 to $3.25 per share and a 2014 operating earnings guidance range of $3.15 to $3.45 per share supported by an earnings growth rate of 4 percent to 6 percent. AEP affirmed a 2013 capital budget of $3.6 billion. Capital expenditures for 2014 and 2015 are estimated at $3.8 billion per year. In providing operating earnings guidance, there could be differences between operating earnings and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) earnings for matters such as changes in accounting principles. AEP management is not able to estimate the impact, if any, on GAAP earnings of these items, and therefore is not able to provide a corresponding GAAP equivalent for earnings guidance. "We resolved significant regulatory and financial challenges in 2012 and are well-positioned to execute on our strategy to grow earnings," said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP's president and chief executive officer. "The dedication of our employees and our continued discipline around controlling costs allowed us to deliver a total shareholder return of 8.22 percent in 2012, including dividends. To continue rewarding our shareholders and achieve payout ratios consistent with our regulated peers, we are increasing the targeted range for our dividend payout ratio to 60 to 70 percent of consolidated earnings. "Our increased dividend payout ratio is fully supported by our regulated operations, which will remain the core of our business and will drive our earnings growth. AEP employees remain focused on our primary objective – safely generating and delivering reliable, affordable power for the benefit of our customers," Akins said. "I'm extraordinarily proud that our employees completed 2012 with no fatalities and record-low injury rates, while maintaining effective cost controls."