Xcel Energy Inc.
) has announced that it will pay an incremental dividend in
first- quarter 2014. The board of directors has increased the
quarterly dividend rate by 7.1% sequentially and 11.1% year over
year to 30 cents per share. The increased dividend will be paid
on Apr 20, 2014 to stockholders of record as of Mar 20.
On an annualized basis, Xcel Energy's dividend rate will come to
$1.20 per share. The annual dividend yield will be 4.1%, higher
than the industry average of 2.3%.
Xcel Energy's practice of distributing incremental dividends
supports its commitment to improve shareholders' value. It is
evident from the last few years' dividend payment history that
the company increases dividend rate once in a year.
The last dividend hike was in Jun 2013 when it was increased 3.7%
to 28 cents from the earlier payout of 27 cents per share. In the
long term, Xcel Energy plans to raise the average annual dividend
in the range of 4% - 6%.
As of Jan 28, 2014, Xcel Energy had available liquidity of
approximately $1.3 billion. A stable financial position helps the
company to meet its anticipated cash requirements for dividend
payment and future projects.
Xcel Energy is currently working on expanding its traditional as
well as renewable fuel-fired asset base, while improving existing
infrastructure to provide reliable services to the customers. The
company invested approximately $3.4 billion in 2013 as capital
expenditure and plans to spend $14.1 billion within a time span
of 2014 - 2018. The company's steady utility infrastructure
expansion program is expected to allow it to boost its scale of
operations, thereby meeting increased customer demand.
Xcel Energy currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other players in
the utility industry, looking equally good at current levels
Portland General Electric Co.
CMS Energy Corp.
). While Portland General Electric holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong
Buy), CMS Energy and Exelon carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
CMS ENERGY (CMS): Free Stock Analysis Report
EXELON CORP (EXC): Free Stock Analysis Report
PORTLAND GEN EL (POR): Free Stock Analysis
XCEL ENERGY INC (XEL): Free Stock Analysis
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