News Release
Dec. 20, 2000

DUKE ENERGY ANNOUNCES TWO-FOR-ONE STOCK SPLIT; ADOPTS DIVIDEND POLICY

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Duke Energy today announced that its board of directors has approved a two-for-one split of its common shares.

Duke Energy Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Richard B. Priory said the stock split comes during the company’s most successful period of growth. Duke Energy common shares reached an all-time high of $90.44 per share during the quarter and have increased in value by more than 70 percent this year. The company’s market capitalization has grown from approximately $18 billion to more than $31 billion in 2000.

"This has been a very rewarding year for Duke Energy shareholders," Priory said. "The excellent execution of our strategy is providing strong earnings growth, which is being reflected in our stock price. This split rewards shareholders and ensures that Duke Energy shares remain affordable for investors."

Duke Energy common shareholders will receive one additional share of common stock for each share of Duke Energy common stock held on Jan. 3, 2001. The new shares will be issued on Jan. 26, 2001. Duke Energy has approximately 369 million shares outstanding. The two-for-one split will increase the number of common shares outstanding to approximately 738 million. The split is contingent on approval by the North Carolina Utilities Commission and the Public Service Commission of South Carolina.

In other action, Duke Energy’s board adopted a dividend policy that maintains the quarterly cash dividend at 55 cents per share (27.5 cents per share after the stock split). Priory said maintaining the dividend at the current level is consistent with the current growth profile and financial needs of the business.

"This dividend policy strikes a balance between providing a competitive dividend yield and ensuring that we have resources available to fund the company’s growth," Priory said. "With Duke Energy, investors enjoy the advantage of a regular quarterly dividend and the potential for share price appreciation that accompanies a leading, high-growth energy company."

Duke Energy, a diversified multinational energy company, creates value for customers and shareholders through an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. Duke Energy manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses -- generating revenues of nearly $22 billion in 1999. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 100 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available on the Internet at: www.duke-energy.com.

This document includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Although Duke Energy believes that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its goals will be achieved. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the commodity prices for oil, gas, coal, electricity and interest rates, the extent of success in connecting natural gas supplies to gathering and processing systems and in connecting and expanding gas and electric markets, the performance of electric generation, pipeline and gas processing facilities, the timing and success of efforts to develop domestic and international power, pipeline, gathering, processing and other infrastructure projects and conditions of the capital markets and equity markets during the periods covered by the forward-looking statements.

 

Contact: Paul Mason
Phone: 704/373-4512
24 Hour Phone: 704/382-8333
Email: pemason@duke-energy.com