November 10, 2023
AEP Streamlining Business and Focusing on Regulated Operations to Benefit Customers, Reaffirms Long-term Growth Rate of 6 to 7 Percent
- 2024 operating earnings guidance range of $5.53 to $5.73 per share announced
- Five-year, $43 billion capital plan emphasizes investments in wires and renewables to support needs of customers
- Economic development strategy bolsters strong load projections over the next three years
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 10, 2023 – American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) will continue to actively manage its portfolio and invest in its regulated operations to generate value for customers, communities and investors. The company reaffirmed its narrowed 2023 operating earnings guidance range of $5.24 to $5.34 per share with a midpoint of $5.29 and announced its 2024 guidance range of $5.53 to $5.73 per share. AEP also reaffirmed its projected long-term growth rate of 6% to 7% and FFO/Debt target of 14% to 15%. AEP management will share the company’s earnings growth opportunities with investors and analysts at the annual Edison Electric Institute Financial Conference that begins Nov. 12 in Phoenix, Arizona.
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 is investing in a cleaner, more resilient energy system of the future, fulfilling our commitments to stakeholders and powering growth,” said Julie Sloat, AEP chair, president and chief executive officer. “We’re keeping customers at the center of our strategy, which is reflected in our five-year capital plan that bolsters our work to deliver reliable and affordable energy.
“By effectively managing our business while making these needed investments and capitalizing on the benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act, we have reduced our projected customer rate impacts across AEP’s operating companies to 3% annually over the next five years. We’re working with regulators, policymakers and other stakeholders in our states on strategies to ensure timely recovery of costs, while managing bill impacts for customers,” Sloat said.
AEP will invest nearly all capital in its regulated businesses as it simplifies and de-risks operations. The company’s five-year, $43 billion capital investment plan allocates more than $27 billion to transmission and distribution.
“Our robust capital investment plan includes $16 billion for transmission and $11.3 billion in distribution to continue to modernize the grid, increase reliability, integrate renewable resources and build infrastructure for new customers,” Sloat said. “We have a significant pipeline of opportunities to invest in our wires infrastructure as we upgrade the system to benefit customers and deliver on our 6%-7% EPS growth.
“In our vertically integrated states, our current integrated resource plans identify a significant need for new generation over the next decade as electrification and economic development contribute to increased load. We’re investing $9.4 billion in regulated renewables over the next five years to support the needs of our customers with fuel-free power. This is part of our plan to add 21.5 gigawatts of new, diverse generation resources between 2024 and 2033. Load projections in most of our service territory remain strong, reinforced by our focus on economic development to bring jobs and growth opportunities to our communities,” Sloat said.
AEP completed the sale of its 1,365 MW unregulated renewables portfolio in August, netting approximately $1.2 billion. The company remains on track with the previously announced sales processes for its retail and distributed resources businesses, its share of a renewable energy joint venture and two non-core transmission joint ventures. AEP expects to complete the previously announced strategic review of its Transource Energy joint venture this year.
“The sales and strategic review of our non-core and competitive businesses will be key in streamlining the company, shifting capital to our regulated operations and strengthening our balance sheet,” said Sloat.
AEP raised its quarterly dividend to 88 cents a share in October, an increase of 5 cents per share. This is the company’s 454th consecutive cash dividend, and AEP has paid a cash dividend on its common stock every quarter since 1910.
“Our dividend growth is in line with our earnings growth range and targeted payout ratio of 60% to 70%,” Sloat said.
At American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, we understand that our customers and communities depend on safe, reliable and affordable power. Our nearly 17,000 employees operate and maintain more than 40,000 miles of transmission lines, the nation’s largest electric transmission system, and more than 225,000 miles of distribution lines to deliver power to 5.6 million customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with nearly 29,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including approximately 6,100 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP is investing $43 billion over the next five years to make the electric grid cleaner and more reliable. We are on track to reach an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 and have a goal to achieve net zero by 2045. AEP is recognized consistently for its focus on sustainability, community engagement 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 and any associated disruption of AEP’s business operations due to impacts on economic or market conditions, costs of compliance with potential government regulations, electricity usage, supply chain issues, customers, service providers, vendors and suppliers; the economic impact of increased global trade tensions including the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, and the adoption or expansion of economic sanctions or trade restrictions; inflationary or deflationary interest rate trends; volatility and disruptions in the financial markets precipitated by any cause, including failure to make progress on federal budget or debt ceiling matters, 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; limitations or restrictions on the amounts and types of insurance available to cover losses that might arise in connection with natural disasters or operations; 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 generation plants and related assets; the impact of federal tax legislation on results of operations, financial condition, cash flows or credit ratings; the risks associated with fuels used before, during and after the generation of electricity and the byproducts and wastes of such fuels, including coal ash and spent 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 or regulatory proceedings or investigations; 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; the impact of changing expectations and demands of customers, regulators, investors and stakeholders, including heightened emphasis on environmental, social and governance concerns; 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, wildfires, cyber security threats and other catastrophic events; and the ability to attract and retain the requisite work force and key personnel.
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Corporate Media Relations
Vice President, Investor Relations