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In 2015, $AEE's Ameren Illinois electric delivery earnings' allowed ROE was 8.64% vs. 9.14% in 2014, down due to a decrease in the annual average 30-year treasury rate from 3.34% to 2.28%. The earnings comparison was also unfavorable affected by increased D&A expenses of $0.05 per share and by the absence of 2014 benefit due to regulatory decision.
$AEE's subsidiary Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois (ATXI) received approval from the Missouri PSC for the construction of the Mark Twain Transmission Project, a 100-mile, 345,000-volt transmission line and substation in northeast Missouri. ATXI expects to invest $250MM in the project. Construction is planned to begin in April 2018.
$AEE's BoD declared a quarterly cash dividend on its common stock of 45.75 cents per share, a 4% increase from the prior dividend of 44 cents. This results in an annualized equivalent dividend rate of $1.83 per share. The dividend is payable on Dec. 29, 2017 to shareholders of record as on Dec. 13, 2017.
$AEE said Ameren Illinois has filed an amendment to its energy efficiency plan under the Future Energy Jobs Act. The plan is to invest $114MM per year for the next four years in electric and gas efficiency programs, and to achieve nearly 9% in cumulative persisting energy savings by 2021-end, with a goal of 16% in savings achieved by 2030.
Union Electric Co., doing business as Ameren Missouri, a subsidiary of $AEE, priced a public offering of $400MM of 2.95% senior secured notes due 2027. The transaction is expected to close on June 15, 2017. Ameren Missouri intends to use the net proceeds to repay at maturity $425MM of its 6.40% senior secured notes due June 15, 2017.
$AEE reported 2.8% decrease in its 1Q17 earnings, mainly due to lower electric retail sales driven by mild winter temperatures and lower tax benefits. Net income fell to $102MM, or $0.42 per share, compared to $105MM, or $0.43 per share during 1Q16. Operating revenues rose 5.5% YoY to $1.51Bil from $1.43Bil.
$AEE said it plans to invest in its electric and gas transmission and distribution operations. The capital allocation is expected to grow these energy delivery businesses to nearly three quarters of rate base by 2021-end. As a result, investment in coal and gas-fired generation is expected to decline to a combined 15% of rate base by year-end 2021.
$AEE reported an increase in 4Q16 earnings reflecting higher retail electric and gas sales to residential and commercial customers and increased electric transmission infrastructure investments. Net income was $32MM or $0.13 per share versus $29MM or $0.12 per share in 4Q15. Total operating revenues rose to $1.35Bil from last year.
Ameren Illinois Company, a subsidiary of $AEE, announced today the pricing of a public offering of $240MM aggregate principal amount of its 4.15% senior secured notes due 2046 at 102.753% of their principal amount. The transaction is expected to close on Dec. 6, 2016.
In Feb. 2016, $AEE outlined its plan to grow rate base at 6.5% compound annual rate over the 2015-2020 period. The company's execution of this plan remains on track. This growth is being driven by the allocation of significant amounts of capital of FERC regulated electric transmission and Illinois electric & natural gas distribution services.
$AEE invested approx. $480MM in Illinois electric and natural gas distribution infrastructure projects during the first nine months of 2016. These included investments made under the company's modernization action plan, which was enabled by the Illinois Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act.
$AEE raised its 2016 EPS guidance to $2.65-2.75 from prior outlook of $2.45-2.65. This updated forecast reflects strong year-to-date results and continues to include estimated 15 cents per share reduction related to the expected temporary net effect of significantly lower electric sales to the New Madrid smelter.