ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 4, 2003 — In recognition of its financial achievement, New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. has been honored as the top performer in the Edison Electric Institute’s Index of Shareholder-Owned Electric Utilities for the past five years.
For the five-year period ending September 30, 2003, Entergy achieved the best performance in the EEI Index large-cap category with a return of 110.7 percent. The EEI Index is a peer group index that values total return on each electric utility over a five-year period, thus providing a benchmark for long- term stock performance.
The Index is used by over a third of EEI member companies in their proxy statements, and nearly half use the Index in their executive compensation programs.
The award was presented by Allen Franklin, chairman, president and CEO of Atlanta-based Southern Company, and chairman of EEI, during the association’s 38th annual Financial Conference here.
EEI President Tom Kuhn, commenting on the award, said, “Entergy Corp. has established a track record of exceptional performance over the past five years. Entergy’s stock has consistently outperformed the market in delivering returns to shareholders since they adopted a refocused back-to-basics strategy in 1998.”
Entergy has divested over $5 billion of under-performing assets and has reinvested approximately $3 billion in growth businesses, as well as a share repurchase program. Investments in nuclear generation and the Entergy-Koch joint venture generated over $500 million of net income over the past four years.
Since 1998, operational earnings have grown at an average annual rate of nearly 15 percent. Yet most of Entergy’s revenues come from stable, regulated sources — the utility business, the regulated pipeline business and storage facilities in the Entergy-Koch joint venture, and power purchase agreements with regulated utilities in the nuclear business.
Entergy has established itself as a national operator of safe, reliable, low-cost nuclear generation. Its competitive nuclear business has acquired five units in the Northeast with nearly 4,000 megawatts of capacity. By 2002, Entergy achieved high capacity factors and a record drop in the duration of refueling outages at the newly acquired plants.
Entergy’s reputation as a nuclear operator was confirmed again this year, when Entergy Nuclear signed an agreement with the Nebraska Public Power District to provide management support services to operate Cooper Nuclear Station.
Entergy-Koch, LP, Entergy’s joint venture with Koch Industries, has also established itself as a leader in its field, and as a source of earnings for Entergy shareholders. Entergy-Koch Trading has maintained consistently profitable results in up, down and flat markets, using a disciplined approach and strong analytics.
Finally, Entergy’s back-to-basics approach has refocused on strong customer service and reliability in its core utility operations, Kuhn noted. “This focus has paid dividends for customers, significantly increasing customer satisfaction and reducing complaints,” Kuhn said. “By improving relationships with regulators, going back-to-basics at the utility has also been good for investors, reducing regulatory risk and giving Entergy the opportunity to maintain growth in utility earnings through solid performance.”
Runners-up in the large-cap category this year were Chicago-based Exelon, with a five-year return of 99.2 percent, and Allentown, Pa.-based PPL Corp., with a return of 89.6 percent. This year’s winner of the small-cap category was Maine and Maritimes Corp., and runners-up were Central Vermont Public Service Corp. and Green Mountain Power Corp.
Edison Electric Institute (EEI) is the association of United States investor-owned electric utilities and industry affiliates and associates worldwide. Its domestic members generate approximately three-quarters of all the electricity generated by electric utilities in the country and serve about 70 percent of all ultimate customers in the nation.