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American Electric Power ups its guidance

Staff writer |
American Electric Power (AEP) increased its operating earnings guidance (earnings excluding special items) for 2015 and reaffirmed its 2016 operating earnings guidance range.

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The company also forecast capital expenditure budgets for 2015 through 2017.

AEP increased its operating earnings guidance for 2015 to $3.40 to $3.60 per share from the previous 2015 operating earnings guidance of $3.30 to $3.60 per share. The company reaffirmed 2016 operating earnings guidance at $3.45 to $3.85 per share. Operating earnings guidance for 2014 was narrowed to $3.40 to $3.50 per share Oct. 23.

AEP increased its 2015 capital expenditure budget to $4.4 billion. The company forecast its 2016 capital investment budget at $3.8 billion and its 2017 capital investment budget at $3.9 billion.

In providing operating earnings guidance, there could be differences between operating earnings and GAAP earnings for matters such as, but not limited to, impairments or changes in accounting principles. AEP management is not able to estimate the impact, if any, on GAAP earnings of these items. Therefore, AEP is not able to provide a corresponding GAAP equivalent for earnings guidance.

AEP plans to invest at least $4.8 billion in its transmission businesses over the next three years through AEP Transmission Holding Co. and AEP's regulated utility operating companies. AEP Transmission Holding Co.'s net plant assets are approximately $2.4 billion, an increase of 83 percent in the last year.

AEP's strategy also is designed to support the company's commitment to dividend growth with a targeted dividend payout ratio of 60 to 70 percent of operating earnings. AEP has declared dividends for 418 consecutive quarters. The company increased its dividend in October by 6 percent on an annual basis to $2.12 per share.

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