October 15, 2004
RICHMOND, Va. - The board of directors of Dominion (NYSE: D) initiated its first dividend increase in 10 years today by declaring a fourth-quarter dividend of 66.5 cents per share of common stock.
The declaration represents a 2-cent increase over Dominion’s previous quarterly dividend of 64.5 cents per share. This will boost Dominion’s 2004 annual dividend rate to $2.60 per share of common stock. Dividends are payable on Dec. 20, 2004, to shareholders of record Nov. 29, 2004.
For dividends payable in 2005, the quarterly rate is expected to rise again, from 66.5 cents per share to 67 cents per share, for an annual rate of $2.68 in 2005. Under current financial projections, the company believes that additional 8-cent-per-share annual increases in the dividend rate are appropriate.
The 2-cent-per-share fourth-quarter 2004 dividend hike marks the 307th consecutive dividend that Dominion or its predecessor company has paid holders of common stock. The company’s last quarterly dividend was declared July 13, 2004.
Thos. E. Capps, chairman and chief executive officer, said:
“Our integrated energy assets are delivering strong and sustainable performance. Key financial and credit measures are healthy and improving. All signs point to a continued positive outlook for achieving our targeted 5 to 7 percent annual projected increase in operating earnings growth. After a decade of stable dividends, the board now believes that overall conditions are right for a dividend increase.”
The board of directors of Virginia Electric and Power Company, a subsidiary of Dominion, also declared regular quarterly dividends at the prescribed rates on each of its series of preferred stock. Preferred dividends on the company's fixed-rate preferred stock are payable Dec. 20, 2004 to holders of record at the close of business Nov. 29, 2004.
Dominion is one of the nation’s leading energy companies.
This release contains forward-looking statements including our expectations for future dividends, 2004 and 2005 earnings and for future annual growth rates that are subject to various risks and uncertainties and, in the case of dividends, board approval. Discussion of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from management's projections, forecasts, estimates and expectations may include factors that are beyond the company's ability to control or estimate precisely, such as estimates of future market conditions, estimates of proved and unproved reserves and the behavior of other market participants. Other factors include, but are not limited to, weather conditions, governmental regulations, economic conditions in the company's service area, fluctuations in energy-related commodity prices, including changes in the cost of fuel for our regulated electric business, risks related to operating businesses in regulated industries that are becoming deregulated, the transfer of control over electric transmission facilities to a regional transmission organization, changes to rating agency requirements and ratings, changing financial accounting standards, trading counter-party credit risks, risks related to energy trading and marketing, and other uncertainties. Other risk factors are detailed from time to time in Dominion’s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q or annual report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission.