The Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE: XEL) board of directors today raised the quarterly dividend on the company's common stock from 34 cents per share to 36 cents per share, which is equivalent to an annual rate of $1.44 per share. The Board declared the first quarter common stock dividend payable April 20, 2017, to shareholders of record on March 15, 2017. "Today, we increased our divided 5.9%, which demonstrates the confidence we have in our business plan and our financial flexibility. We are committed to generating value for our investors, which reflects our objective of increasing dividend 5-7% and growing earnings 4-6% annually," said Ben Fowke, chairman, president, and CEO. Xcel Energy is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company, with operations in 8 Western and Midwestern states. Xcel Energy provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.5 million electricity customers and 2.0 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis. More information is available at www.xcelenergy.com. This information is not given in connection with any sale or offer for sale or offer to buy any securities. Statements in this press release regarding Xcel Energy's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.