FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., Feb. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Marcus Jackson,
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of
SEMCO ENERGY, Inc. (NYSE: SEN) today commented on the recent weakness in the
Company's stock price, reaffirmed the Company's previous earnings guidance for
2002 and 2003, commented on the dividend on its common stock and business
strategy and discussed current plans to improve the financial position of the
Jackson said, "I do not believe the recent decline in the stock price
reflects the fact that we are taking specific, appropriate actions to address
the issues that face SEMCO in the coming year. We are currently undertaking
measures to address potential liquidity issues during 2003. We are also
pursuing other actions that will pay down debt in order to improve the
financial position of the Company. These actions are being taken to enhance
the long-term value to our shareholders."
While earnings for the year 2002 are being finalized, Jackson reaffirmed
the previously provided earnings guidance for 2002 of $.45 to $.50 per share.
The Company plans to release final 2002 earnings on Monday, February 10, 2003,
as originally scheduled. In addition, given the strength of the Company's Gas
Distribution business and the measures that are underway to improve the
financial performance of the Construction Services business, earnings per
share for 2003 are expected to be between $.55 and $.65.
Gas sales were up in January 2003 for SEMCO's gas distribution operations,
which experienced slightly colder-than-normal temperatures during the month,
unlike the past two years. In the Construction Services business, we are
focusing on expanding those geographic areas where the Company historically
has had higher margins and either exiting or contracting certain areas where
lower margins have prevailed.
Mr. Jackson stated, "We believe that cash flow and earnings are sufficient
to continue to provide the current level of dividend to our shareholders at
this time. We recognize the need to improve the capital structure and have
identified significant measures to achieve that and are analyzing the possible
sale of certain Company assets that are non-core to its gas distribution
The Company also announced that, in conjunction with investment bankers,
it has identified financing plans related to the possible remarketing of the
$105 million 8.95% Re-marketable or Redeemable Securities (ROARS) in July
2003. At this time, the Company believes that sufficient liquidity exists for
it to remarket or otherwise refinance these securities.
Jackson concluded, "We are encouraged by the start in calendar year 2003
due to the weather in January and the work underway in Construction Services.
We are optimistic with the southern region of Construction Services given the
projects initiated in December and January. We have reorganized the Michigan
region and recruited management to further complement the reorganization
changes. I am optimistic about our opportunities in 2003 to improve
SEMCO ENERGY, Inc. is a diversified energy and infrastructure company that
distributes natural gas to more than 383,000 customers in Michigan and Alaska.
It also owns and operates businesses involved in natural gas pipeline
construction services, propane distribution, intrastate pipelines and natural
gas storage in various regions of the United States. In addition, it provides
information technology and outsourcing services, specializing in the mid-range
The following is a "Safe-Harbor" statement under the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This release contains forward-looking
statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Statements that are not
historic facts, including statements about the Company's outlook, beliefs,
plans, goals and expectations, are forward-looking statements. Factors that
may impact forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the
effects of weather, the economic climate, competition, commodity prices,
changing conditions in the capital markets, regulatory approval processes,
success in obtaining new business and other risks detailed from time to time
in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings.
SOURCE SEMCO ENERGY, Inc.