Portland General Electric (
) declared a new quarterly dividend on Wednesday, holding steady
at 27.5 cents a share. The dividend is payable April 15 to
shareholders of record March 25.
It's the fourth straight quarter Portland has paid that
dividend. The company, which is growing with the population of
the Pacific Northwest, targets its payout ratio at 50% to 70% and
has been slowly raising its dividend. It was 22.5 cents in
The dividend announcement comes on the heels of the Feb. 14
earnings report that was surprisingly good. Sleepy utilities
rarely blow out earnings, but Portland did this time. The company
said cooler weather increased demand for electricity.
The company said its Q4 2013 earnings amounted to 59 cents a
share, a 55% increase over the year-ago period. Revenue rose 8%
to $499 million. Both numbers beat estimates, which called for 49
cents EPS and $476.8 million in revenue.
Wall Street liked the report. The stock was up 8% for the week
and the stock poked above a long, tight consolidation.
Portland General Electric serves 830,000 customers in
It traces its roots to 1889 with a generating plant at
Willamette Falls in Oregon City. It ran a 14-mile transmission
line that served 55 street lamps in Portland.
The company says it was the first long-distance transmission
line in the nation.
It generates electricity through 13 power plants it wholly or
partly owns with a capacity of 2,781 megawatts of
It produces power from hydroelectric, natural gas, coal and
From 2011, earnings fell from $1.95 a share to $1.87 in 2012
and to $1.84 a share last year. But analysts are forecasting EPS
will rise 12% to $2.07 a share in 2014. The company has raised
2014 guidance to $2 to $2.15.