DUKE ENERGY HOSTS 2003 ANALYST CONFERENCE TODAY
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – With the theme, “Proven History, Strong Future,” Duke Energy opened its annual conference today by telling about 100 financial analysts and investors that the company is on course to meet its 2003 guidance and has taken steps this year that pave the way for future growth.
“Our staying power is fueled by strong corporate character, a proven business model and solid financial fundamentals,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick Priory as he welcomed attendees. “We take a long view of value creation. Our near-term measures are focused on preserving a strong and lasting competitive position.
“We’ve taken a number of decisive steps in 2003 to protect our financial position and to ensure that we’re positioned for growth. We had a good first quarter and are seeing some promising indicators. It’s beginning to feel like we’ve rounded the toughest curves.”
Priory reaffirmed 2003 EPS guidance of $1.35 -- $1.60, excluding the cumulative effect of previously announced accounting changes. He also said the company’s current financial plan includes fully funding the $1.10 per share dividend.
Priory, along with other key members of senior management, will discuss progress on 2003 financial goals and prospects for the company. A copy of the prepared presentations, including the newly disclosed information, is available at the company’s investors' Web site, www.duke-energy.com/investors. An audio file of the presentations will be available early next week on the same Web site. The presentations will include certain non-GAAP financial measures as defined under SEC rules. A reconciliation of those measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures is available at: http://www.duke-energy.com/investors/financial/gaap.
In addition to discussing previously announced business milestones and plans, the company will also provide perspective on the following:
The following new information will be included in today’s presentations:
The new data further underlines Duke Energy’s commitment to transparency for investors regarding its merchant power business, including DENA’s base earnings and collateral requirements.
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
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 success in connecting natural gas supplies to gathering and processing systems and in connecting and expanding natural gas and electric markets; the performance of electric generation, pipeline and natural gas processing facilities; the timing and success of efforts to develop domestic and international power, pipeline, gathering, processing and other infrastructure projects; conditions of the capital markets and equity markets during the periods covered by the forward-looking statements; and other factors discussed in Duke Energy's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.