DUKE ENERGY COMMENTS ON S&P ACTION
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Duke Energy issued the following statement today following the announcement by Standard & Poor’s concerning the company’s credit ratings:
"Today’s action by S&P, following an earlier announcement from Moody’s, will not impact the company’s plans to further strengthen its balance sheet and position itself for growth in the future.
"Additionally, today’s action by S&P will not affect Duke Energy’s 2003 operational or financial plans, including its earnings per share (EPS) guidance of $1.35 - $1.60, before the cumulative effect of changes in accounting principles, and the previously stated $1.10 per share annual dividend."
Duke Energy is a diversified multinational energy company with an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. The company manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses – meeting the energy needs of customers throughout North America and in key markets around the world. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 500 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 forward-looking statements herein include legislative and regulatory developments; the outcomes of litigation and regulatory proceedings or inquiries; general economic conditions, including any potential effects arising from terrorist attacks and any consequential hostilities or other hostilities; the effectiveness of the company's risk management and internal controls systems; the timing and extent of changes in commodity prices for oil, gas, coal, electricity and interest rates; the extent of