In 2016, Duke Energy achieved adjusted diluted earnings per share of $4.69 compared to $4.54 for 2015. This increase was driven by continued investment in the company’s regulated utilities and infrastructure business, and a strong focus on reducing operations and maintenance costs across the business.
One of Duke Energy’s primary goals as a sustainable company is delivering attractive long-term returns for its shareholders. 2017 will mark the 91st consecutive year we have paid a dividend to our shareholders. That dividend was increased by 4 percent in 2016.
During 2016, the company completed its five-year portfolio transition with the sale of its Latin America business and acquisition of Piedmont Natural Gas. The company is now a predominately regulated, energy infrastructure business, well-positioned for growth in 2017 and beyond.
With the portfolio transition complete, the company realigned its business into three new segments: Electric Utilities and Infrastructure, Gas Utilities and Infrastructure, and Commercial Renewables.
These three businesses are well-situated to contribute adjusted diluted earnings per share that drive the company’s 4 to 6 percent overall growth objectives from 2017 to 2021.
Duke Energy’s total shareholder return – the change in stock price plus dividends – for 2016 was 13.5 percent, compared to 17.4 percent for the Philadelphia Utility Index (20 U.S. utilities) and 12.0 percent for the S&P 500. Despite solid returns to investors last year, we trailed the Philadelphia Utility Index due to the uncertainty associated with our portfolio transition. Thanks to a great deal of hard work, we put that uncertainty behind us in 2016 and are now focused on executing our regulated growth strategy for years to come.