COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 14, 2002 — American Electric Power said Thursday that it is reducing 2002 ongoing earnings guidance to between $2.85 and $3.15 per share, citing general weakness in the economy and the wholesale energy markets that have affected the entire sector.
The company expects ongoing earnings for 2003 to be in the same range as 2002.
AEP’s earlier expectations for 2002 had been between $3.20 and $3.35 per share. The 2003 expectations are the first provided by the company.
AEP also said management will recommend that its board of directors maintain the quarterly dividend of $0.60 per share.
“I believe we can sustain our dividend from the earnings in our regulated business and the hedged generation from the unregulated business,” said E. Linn Draper Jr., AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer.
Draper also addressed yesterday’s announcement that five AEP gas traders were fired for providing false information to trade publications about gas prices in the Gulf.
“We don’t know why they did it, but we cannot tolerate that behavior,” Draper said. “I can tell you the information they provided was not used to price any of our transactions, so it did not impact earnings.”
The company will provide additional information on its earnings guidance for 2002 and 2003 at 2 p.m. today during a conference call with financial analysts. The call can be heard live on the Internet at www.firstcallevents.com/service/ajwz366623662gf12.html or www.AEP.com/investors/webcasts/default.htm .
American Electric Power is a multinational energy company with a balanced portfolio of energy assets. AEP, the United States’ largest electricity generator, owns and operates more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. and select international markets. AEP is a wholesale energy marketer, ranking among North America’s top providers of wholesale power and natural gas with a growing wholesale presence in European markets.
In addition to electricity generation, AEP owns and operates natural gas pipeline systems, natural gas storage, coal mines, and the fourth-largest inland barge company in the U.S. AEP is also one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with almost 5 million customers linked to AEP’s wires. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio.
Source: American Electric Power