FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., Aug. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SEMCO ENERGY,
Inc. (NYSE: SEN) today announced that the Company issued approximately 8.7
million shares of common stock for $101 million on August 18, 2003 through the
mandatory purchase obligation specified under its Feline Prides. This action
further enhances the common equity base of the Company. Related to this
issuance, the Company retired approximately $101 million of 9% Trust Preferred
"This additional common equity, together with the Dividend change
announced in June 2003, will strengthen the Company's financial position,"
said Marcus Jackson, Chairman, President and CEO. "The Company reduced its
annual Dividend rate in June from $.50 to $.30 in light of internal cash
requirements to fund utility growth and to reflect the long-term earnings
prospects of the Company. We believe this new rate is not only appropriate
but also will give us a payout ratio more in line with our peers."
"While the construction services industry, as well as SEMCO's construction
division are not performing as expected, the Company anticipates cash flow
generated by this business segment to be positive in 2003. Our gas
distribution businesses in Michigan and Alaska continue to perform as
expected. Based on normal weather in Michigan and Alaska from now through
year-end, including the 8.7 million common shares and excluding one-time debt
extinguishment costs, earnings per share are still expected to be between $.30
and $.35 for 2003," Jackson added.
SEMCO ENERGY, Inc. is a diversified energy and infrastructure company that
distributes natural gas to approximately 385,000 customers in Michigan and
Alaska. It also owns and operates businesses involved in natural gas pipeline
construction services, propane distribution and 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 computer market.
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 statement 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.