The board of directors of
) boosted its quarterly dividend rate by 10.3% to 40 cents per
share from 36.25 cents per share, bringing the annualized payout
to $1.60 per share.
Management now expects a dividend payout ratio of 55% to 65%
versus an earlier expectation of 50% to 60%. The revised
annualized dividend yield of the company comes to 3.15%, higher
than the industry yield of 2.11%.
A steady dividend payout policy reflects Cleco's healthy
financial position and balanced capital deployment approach.
Cleco ended 2013 with cash flow from operating activities of
$341.7 million, up 29.9% from the year-ago level.
The company ended 2013 with earnings of $2.53 per share, up 2.8%
from the prior year. The upside was driven by increased
industrial and wholesale sales plus the favorable impact of a
severe winter in the latter part of the year.
Looking forward, the company is optimistic about its 2014
bottom-line performance as it recently received its final
approval to join the multiregional transmission organization,
Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. (MISO). The
integration will provide Cleco opportunities for transmission
growth as well as open more avenues for the wholesale market.
MISO creates new efficiencies that will help Cleco to deliver
power in a more economical way benefiting its customers through
improved reliability. The company's continuous investments in
growth projects will allow it to generate adequate funds for
consistent distribution of cash among its shareholders.
CLECO CORP (CNL): Free Stock Analysis Report
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KOREA ELEC PWR (KEP): Free Stock Analysis
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Cleco Corporation has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Other better-ranked
players in the industry include
CPFL Energia S.A.
Korea Electric Power Corp.
). All of these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).