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 August 1, 1999

Electric providers with most earnings show heavy institutional ownership

BOULDER — The electric utility industry has been a solid provider of dividends since its inception, but competition in 1998 caused average dividends for the nation’s 95 IOUs to drop from $1.58 a share to $1.55, according to Energy Insight’s multi-part analysis of 1998 financial results of U.S. IOUs.

This drop, nearly 2 percent in a year, is systematic of an increase in the industry’s competitive risk, which has executives rethinking strategies and corporate objectives. Evidence of the smaller dividend payout was accompanied by an increase in the number of IOUs paying no dividend at all. In 1996, only five IOUs paid no dividends to investors. Last year that number rose to 10.

As the electric industry looks to become more competitive, the type of investor it attracts appears to be changing. The companies with the highest proportions of retained earnings in 1998 show a heavy institutional ownership, averaging better than 63 percent.

BOULDER — The electric utility industry has been a solid provider of dividends since its inception, but competition in 1998 caused average dividends for the nation’s 95 IOUs to drop from $1.58 a share to $1.55, according to Energy Insight’s multi-part analysis of 1998 financial results of U.S. IOUs.

This drop, nearly 2 percent in a year, is systematic of an increase in the industry’s competitive risk, which has executives rethinking strategies and corporate objectives. Evidence of the smaller dividend payout was accompanied by an increase in the number…

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