Our stakeholders depend on us to deliver on our commitments and we did just that in 2017. From financial results to the dividend, the company created sustainable value for our shareholders, and this focus will continue into 2018 and beyond.
In 2017, Duke Energy achieved adjusted diluted earnings per share of $4.57. The company is already seeing the benefits of our multiyear portfolio transition and our regulated and highly contracted energy infrastructure businesses are generating strong results.
Through investments in the energy grid, cleaner generation sources and natural gas infrastructure, as well as a keen focus on cost management, the company delivered on its financial commitments to shareholders.
The company experienced solid growth in its electric and natural gas utilities. The company has reaffirmed its adjusted diluted earnings per share growth objective of 4 to 6 percent from 2018 to 2022, based off of the midpoint of the original 2017 guidance range of $4.50 to $4.70 per share.
The company has also factored in the impacts of the new federal tax law – and is working constructively with our state regulatory commissions to identify ways to pass along savings to customers, while also upholding the sustainable financial health of the company.
Duke Energy remains committed to offering an attractive long-term investment to its shareholders. 2018 will mark the 92nd consecutive year we have paid a dividend to our shareholders. Duke Energy grew that dividend by about 4 percent in 2017.
Duke Energy’s total shareholder return – measured as the change in stock price plus the reinvestment of dividends – for 2017 was 13.0 percent, compared to 12.8 percent for the Philadelphia Utility Index (20 U.S. utilities) and 21.8 percent for the S&P 500 during the same period. Despite solid returns to investors in 2017, the utility sector trailed the overall market based on larger trends like federal tax reform outcomes and rising interest rates.