November 11, 2022
AEP to Focus Capital Investments on Regulated Businesses, Reaffirms Operating Earnings Growth Rate of 6 to 7 Percent
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 11, 2022 – American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) will continue to invest in its regulated operations as the company builds a cleaner, more resilient energy system to benefit both customers and shareholders. The company reaffirmed its 2022 narrowed operating earnings guidance range of $4.97 to $5.07 per share with an increased midpoint of $5.02 and its 2023 guidance range of $5.19 to $5.39 per share with a projected annual operating earnings growth rate of 6% to 7%. AEP management will share the company’s earnings growth strategy at the annual Edison Electric Institute Financial Conference that begins Nov. 13 in Hollywood, Florida.
Operating earnings could differ from those prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for matters such as impairments, divestitures or changes in accounting principles. AEP is unable to forecast if any of these items will occur or any amounts that may be recorded for future periods. Therefore, AEP is not able to provide a corresponding GAAP equivalent for earnings guidance.
“AEP has a proven track record of exceeding earnings projections and raising our guidance while delivering reliable energy and advancing toward a clean energy future,” said Julie Sloat, AEP president and chief financial officer. “We’re committed to building upon this success by actively managing the business and executing our strategy to ensure we’re in the best position to generate value for our customers, communities and investors.”
AEP will invest nearly all capital in its regulated businesses as it de-risks and streamlines its portfolio. The company’s five-year, $40 billion capital investment plan allocates $26 billion to wires and $9 billion to regulated renewables.
“Our high-growth transmission business contributes more than half of our earnings per share and provides significant opportunities to deploy capital,” Sloat said. “From 2023 through 2027, we’re investing $15 billion to continue constructing modern, resilient transmission infrastructure that supports the evolving needs of our customers and a clean energy economy.”
The company recently announced its new target of reaching net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2045. It also adjusted its near-term carbon dioxide emission reduction target from a 2000 baseline to a 2005 baseline and upgraded its 80% reduction by 2030 target to include full Scope 1 emissions.
“We see a clear pathway to achieve our accelerated carbon reduction goal and continue to explore new technologies to close the gap,” said Nicholas K. Akins, AEP chair and chief executive officer. “Over the next 10 years, our regulated generation plan outlines nearly 15,700 megawatts of long-term investment potential in renewables and energy storage to meet our capacity needs to serve our customers and support the transition to net zero. Diversifying our generation portfolio also will be key as we focus on managing affordability for our customers and reducing the impact of fuel price volatility.”
AEP raised its quarterly dividend to 83 cents a share in October, an increase of 5 cents per share. The company’s dividend growth is in line with its long-term growth rate and within its targeted payout ratio of 60-70%.
“This quarter marks our 450th consecutive quarterly cash dividend, and we’re pleased to continue rewarding our valued shareholders with increased returns,” Akins said.
AEP expects to close on the sale of its Kentucky operations in January 2023 and is targeting completion of its unregulated contracted renewables sale in the second quarter of 2023. The company also plans to complete the review of its retail business in the first half of 2023.
American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is powering a cleaner, brighter energy future for its customers and communities. AEP’s approximately 16,700 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 224,000 miles of distribution lines to safely deliver reliable and affordable power to 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 31,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including more than 7,100 megawatts of renewable energy. The company’s plans include growing its renewable generation portfolio to approximately 50% of total capacity by 2032. AEP is on track to reach an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 and has committed to achieving net zero by 2045. AEP is recognized consistently for its focus on sustainability, community engagement, and diversity, equity and inclusion. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, which provides innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide. For more information, visit aep.com.
This report made by American Electric Power and its Registrant Subsidiaries contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Although AEP and each of its Registrant Subsidiaries believe that their expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, any such statements may be influenced by factors that could cause actual outcomes and results to be materially different from those projected. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are: changes in economic conditions, electric market demand and demographic patterns in AEP service territories; the impact of pandemics, including COVID-19, and any associated disruption of AEP’s business operations due to impacts on economic or market conditions, costs of compliance with potential government regulations and employees’ reactions to those regulations, electricity usage, supply chain issues, customers, service providers, vendors and suppliers; the economic impact of escalating global trade tensions including the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the adoption or expansion of economic sanctions or trade restrictions; inflationary or deflationary interest rate trends; volatility in the financial markets, particularly developments affecting the availability or cost of capital to finance new capital projects and refinance existing debt; the availability and cost of funds to finance working capital and capital needs, particularly if expected sources of capital, such as proceeds from the sale of assets or subsidiaries, do not materialize, and during periods when the time lag between incurring costs and recovery is long and the costs are material; decreased demand for electricity; weather conditions, including storms and drought conditions, and AEP’s ability to recover significant storm restoration costs; the cost of fuel and its transportation, the creditworthiness and performance of fuel suppliers and transporters and the cost of storing and disposing of used fuel, including coal ash and spent nuclear fuel; the availability of fuel and necessary generation capacity and the performance of generation plants; AEP’s ability to recover fuel and other energy costs through regulated or competitive electric rates; the ability to transition from fossil generation and the ability to build or acquire renewable generation, transmission lines and facilities (including the ability to obtain any necessary regulatory approvals and permits) when needed at acceptable prices and terms, including favorable tax treatment, and to recover those costs; new legislation, litigation and government regulation, including changes to tax laws and regulations, oversight of nuclear generation, energy commodity trading and new or heightened requirements for reduced emissions of sulfur, nitrogen, mercury, carbon, soot or particulate matter and other substances that could impact the continued operation, cost recovery, and/or profitability of AEP’s generation plants and related assets; the risks associated with fuels used before, during and after the generation of electricity, including coal ash and nuclear fuel; timing and resolution of pending and future rate cases, negotiations and other regulatory decisions, including rate or other recovery of new investments in generation, distribution and transmission service and environmental compliance; resolution of litigation; AEP’s ability to constrain operation and maintenance costs; prices and demand for power generated and sold at wholesale; changes in technology, particularly with respect to energy storage and new, developing, alternative or distributed sources of generation; AEP’s ability to recover through rates any remaining unrecovered investment in generation units that may be retired before the end of their previously projected useful lives; volatility and changes in markets for coal and other energy-related commodities, particularly changes in the price of natural gas; changes in utility regulation and the allocation of costs within regional transmission organizations, including ERCOT, PJM and SPP; changes in the creditworthiness of the counterparties with contractual arrangements, including participants in the energy trading market; actions of rating agencies, including changes in the ratings of debt; the impact of volatility in the capital markets on the value of the investments held by AEP’s pension, other postretirement benefit plans, captive insurance entity and nuclear decommissioning trust and the impact of such volatility on future funding requirements; accounting standards periodically issued by accounting standard-setting bodies; other risks and unforeseen events, including wars and military conflicts, the effects of terrorism (including increased security costs), embargoes, naturally occurring and human-caused fires, cyber security threats and other catastrophic events; and the ability to attract and retain the requisite work force and key personnel.
AEP may use its website as a distribution channel for material company information. Financial and other important information regarding AEP is routinely posted on and accessible through AEP’s website at https://www.aep.com/investors/. In addition, you may automatically receive email alerts and other information about AEP when you enroll your email address by visiting the “Email Alerts” section at https://www.aep.com/investors/.
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AEP Completes Sale of Unregulated Renewables Assets
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