Consolidated Edison raises dividend 1.3% in 2021

Dividend Aristocrat Consolidated Edison (ED) will raise its quarterly dividend by 1.3 percent to $0.775 per share in 2021. This marks the utility company's 47th consecutive year of higher dividends.

The new quarterly dividend of 77.5 cents a share on its common stock, payable March 15, 2021 to stockholders of record as of February 17, 2021, an annualized increase of 4 cents over the previous annualized dividend of $3.06 a share.

"The 47th consecutive annual increase for stockholders, the longest period of consecutive annual dividend increases of any utility in the S&P 500 index, reflects our continued emphasis on providing a return to our investors while meeting the needs of our customers during the pandemic," said Robert Hoglund, Con Edison's senior vice president and chief financial officer. Primarily as a result of the financial impact of the pandemic, the company expects 2020 adjusted earnings to be at the low end of the guidance provided in November 2020 of $4.15 to $4.30 per share. The annualized dividend increase of 4 cents reflects the anticipated ongoing impact of the pandemic in 2021. The company continues to target a dividend payout ratio of between 60% and 70% of its adjusted earnings. Given the expected continuing impact of the pandemic, the company expects the payout to be above the target range for 2021.

Consolidated Edison will now be paying its shareholders an estimated $1.06 billion in dividends annually. This 2021 dividend hike is the smallest in the last nine years. However Consolidated Edison had raised its dividend by less than 1 percent annually for many years through 2012, with dividend growth picking up in 2013. The biggest dividend hike in the last decade was announced in 2018 with a 3.6 percent increase.

Consolidated Edison, Inc. is one of the nation's largest investor-owned energy-delivery companies, with approximately $12 billion in annual revenues and $56 billion in assets. The company provides a wide range of energy-related products and services to its customers through the following subsidiaries: Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., a regulated utility providing electric, gas and steam service in New York City and Westchester County, New York; Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc., a regulated utility serving customers in a 1,300-square-mile-area in southeastern New York State and northern New Jersey; Con Edison Clean Energy Businesses, Inc., which through its subsidiaries develops, owns and operates renewable and energy infrastructure projects and provides energy-related products and services to wholesale and retail customers; and Con Edison Transmission, Inc., which through its subsidiaries invests in electric and natural gas transmission projects.

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