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CMS Energy Boosts Shareholder Dividend 14%

JACKSON — Shareholders in Jackson-based CMS Energy got a 14 percent raise Friday as the company’s board of directors boosted the company’s quarterly dividend on common stock to 24 cents a share, up from 21 cents a share.

Based on Thursday’s closing price for CMS Energy common stock, $22.31, the higher dividend represents an annualized yield of 4.3 percent.

The first quarter dividend for the common stock is payable Feb. 29 to shareholders of record on Feb. 10.

John Russell, CMS Energy’s president and CEO, said the board’s decision to increase the dividend to 96 cents per share on an annualized basis reflects the successful execution of the company’s business strategy.

“Our strategy is based on making capital investments to serve customers and improve the environment while providing value to our investors,” Russell said. “We have achieved consistent results, meeting or exceeding our earnings targets for nine straight years. Our long-term business plan calls for 5 percent to 7 percent annual earnings growth, while holding base rate increases for customers at or below the rate of inflation for the next five years. The increase we’re announcing today brings CMS Energy’s payout ratio in line with the utility industry average.”

Russell said that CMS Energy’s principal subsidiary, Consumers Energy, a Michigan electric and natural gas utility, plans to invest $6.6 billion in its operations through 2016, making it the second-largest investor in the state.

“We’re making substantial investments in renewable energy, environmental quality, energy efficiency, and our natural gas infrastructure,” Russell said. “Along with providing value to customers and improving the environment, these investments are creating jobs and improving the state’s economy.”

CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS) is a Michigan-based company that has an electric and natural gas utility, Consumers Energy, as its primary business and also owns and operates independent power generation businesses.

More at www.cmsenergy.com.

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