In 2018, Duke Energy achieved adjusted diluted earnings per share of $4.72. Through investments in the energy grid, cleaner generation and natural gas infrastructure, as well as a continued focus on managing costs across the business and using digital capabilities, the company delivered on its financial commitments to shareholders.
2018 was a year marked by execution. The company’s electric and gas businesses saw strong growth, underpinned by a robust capital plan and operational excellence. And, Duke Energy displayed financial flexibility as the company responded to delays with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and significant costs associated with storms throughout the year. This dexterity enabled the company to extend its earnings per share objective of 4 to 6 percent through 2023, based off the midpoint of the 2019 guidance range of $4.80 to $5.20 per share.
Duke Energy remains committed to offering an attractive long-term investment to its shareholders. 2019 marks the company’s 93rd consecutive year paying a dividend to its investors, and Duke Energy grew that dividend by approximately 4.2 percent in 2018.
Duke Energy’s total shareholder return – measured as the change in stock price plus the reinvestment of dividends – for 2018 was 7.4 percent, compared to 3.5 percent for the Philadelphia Utility Index (20 U.S. utilities) and -4.4 percent for the S&P 500 during the same period. Duke Energy gained traction in the market during 2018, demonstrating investors’ confidence in the long-term vision for the company, and the utility sector performed well as a result of macro uncertainties in the market.
The company also completed its inaugural issuance of $1 billion in green bonds for the Duke Energy Carolinas utility during 2018. This was followed up with an issuance of $600 million in green bonds for the Duke Energy Progress utility in early 2019. The funds will finance eligible green energy projects – including zero-carbon solar and energy storage – in the Carolinas.
Looking ahead, Duke Energy will continue to create value for customers and shareholders. With solid investment opportunities and a strong focus on the dividend, the company is well-positioned to continue delivering on its financial commitments in 2019 and beyond.