The shareholders of FPL Group, Inc. (NYSE: FPL) voted today to change the name of the company to NextEra Energy, Inc.
The company announced the proposed name change on March 19, 2010. During the company’s annual meeting today, the proposal was approved by more than 95 percent of the shareholders who cast a vote. Following the shareholder vote, the name of the company was formally changed from FPL Group, Inc. to NextEra Energy, Inc.
The change is intended to better reflect the company’s scale as one of the largest and cleanest energy providers in the country, its diverse scope of operations across 28 states and Canada, and its forward-thinking, innovative approach to providing energy-related solutions for customers.
“NextEra Energy, Inc., is a strong and fitting name for this innovative, competitive, forward-thinking energy company,” Chairman and CEO Lew Hay said. “A decade ago, our business interests were primarily concentrated in Florida. Over the last decade, we have grown and diversified the business from mainly a high-performing utility in Florida to a national enterprise that is also the leading generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun in North America and the third largest nuclear operator in the United States. We are also well positioned for success in the low-carbon economy of the future. Overall, our company is one of the cleanest electric power companies in the nation, with a carbon dioxide emissions rate nearly 50 percent below the industry average.”
The company plans to change its New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol from FPL to NEE in late June. The company will not change the name of its utility subsidiary, Florida Power & Light Company, which has a proud history and tradition of excellence in Florida.
With operations in 28 states, NextEra Energy is one of the nation’s largest electric power companies. It is second in electric generating capacity at 42,678 megawatts as of Dec. 31, 2009, third in revenue at $15.6 billion for 2009, and fifth in market capitalization at $20.8 billion as of May 20, 2010. The company is also the nation’s No.1 producer of renewable energy from the wind and sun and, through its subsidiaries, operates the nation’s third largest nuclear power generation fleet.
At the meeting, Hay reviewed the company’s recent performance and accomplishments for shareholders. He noted that the company’s total shareholder return exceeded that of the industry over one-year, five-year and 10-year timeframes and has also exceeded that of the broader market over a sustained period. “One dollar invested in the S&P 500 10 years ago would be worth 97 cents today, whereas one dollar invested in FPL Group would be worth $2.53,” he said.
During 2009, NextEra Energy Resources, the company’s competitive energy business, added 1,170 megawatts of new wind energy assets and remained the market leader in North America with 7,544 total megawatts of wind assets. The company also signed a long-term contract for the proposed 250 megawatt Genesis Solar Energy Project in California and completed a 230-mile transmission line in Texas.
At Florida Power & Light in 2009, the company completed two combined-cycle natural gas units in western Palm Beach County, commissioned the largest solar photovoltaic power plant in the country in DeSoto County, and delivered customers $440 million in fuel savings relative to a 2002 baseline as a result of investments in increased efficiency.
Looking forward, Hay noted that both companies have opportunities to grow. He said that NextEra Energy Resources has outstanding prospects in wind energy, an attractive solar development pipeline, a growing transmission business, new opportunities in natural gas infrastructure, and the potential for in-line growth at the commodities and retail business. At Florida Power & Light, the company is building a third combined-cycle unit at the West County Energy Center and is proposing to make significant investments in nuclear plant uprates, the Riviera Beach and Cape Canaveral natural gas plant modernizations, Energy Smart Florida, and additional solar projects.
Hay said the company believes it can grow adjusted earnings per share by an average of 5 percent to 7 percent per year over the next five years (2010-2014) off of a 2009 base. Adjusted earnings exclude the cumulative effect of adopting new accounting standards, the unrealized mark-to-market effect of non-qualifying hedges and net other than temporary impairment losses on securities held in NextEra Energy Resources’ nuclear decommissioning funds, none of which can be determined at this time. See the accompanying cautionary statements for a list of risk factors that may affect future results.
Shareholders elect all directors and ratify appointment of independent registered public accounting firm; Tregurtha retires
During the annual meeting, shareholders elected the following slate of directors to a one-year term: Sherry S. Barrat, Robert M. Beall, II, J. Hyatt Brown, James L. Camaren, J. Brian Ferguson, Lewis Hay, III, Toni Jennings, Oliver D. Kingsley, Jr., Rudy E. Schupp, William H. Swanson, Michael H. Thaman, and Hansel E. Tookes, II. Paul R. Tregurtha retired after more than 20 years of service on the Board.
Shareholders also ratified the appointment of Deloitte & Touche LLP as the company's independent registered public accounting firm for 2010.
Also today, the board of directors declared a regular quarterly common stock dividend of 50 cents per share. The dividend is payable June 15, 2010, to shareholders of record June 4, 2010.
NextEra Energy, Inc.
NextEra Energy, Inc. (which previously operated as FPL Group) is a leading clean energy company with 2009 revenues of more than $15 billion, nearly 43,000 megawatts of generating capacity, and more than 15,000 employees in 28 states and Canada. Headquartered in Juno Beach, Fla., NextEra Energy’s principal subsidiaries are NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, the largest generator in North America of renewable energy from the wind and sun, and Florida Power & Light Company, which serves approximately 4.5 million customer accounts in Florida and is one of the largest rate-regulated electric utilities in the country. Through its subsidiaries, NextEra Energy collectively operates the third largest U.S. nuclear power generation fleet. For more information about NextEra Energy companies, visit these websites: www.NextEraEnergy.com, www.NextEraEnergyResources.com, www.FPL.com.
Cautionary Statements And Risk Factors That May Affect Future Results
In connection with the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (Reform Act), NextEra Energy, Inc. (NextEra Energy) and Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) are hereby providing cautionary statements identifying important factors that could cause NextEra Energy's or FPL's actual results to differ materially from those projected in forward-looking statements (as such term is defined in the Reform Act) made by or on behalf of NextEra Energy and FPL in this news release, on their respective websites, in response to questions or otherwise. Any statements that express, or involve discussions as to, expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions, strategies, future events or performance (often, but not always, through the use of words or phrases such as will, will likely result, are expected to, will continue, is anticipated, aim, believe, could, should, would, estimated, may, plan, potential, projection, target, outlook, predict and intend or words of similar meaning) are not statements of historical facts and may be forward-looking. Forward-looking statements involve estimates, assumptions and uncertainties. Accordingly, any such statements are qualified in their entirety by reference to, and are accompanied by, the following important factors (in addition to any assumptions and other factors referred to specifically in connection with such forward-looking statements) that could have a significant impact on NextEra Energy's and/or FPL's operations and financial results, and could cause NextEra Energy's and/or FPL's actual results to differ materially from those contained or implied in forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of NextEra Energy and/or FPL.
Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made, and NextEra Energy and FPL undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances, including unanticipated events, after the date on which such statement is made, unless otherwise required by law. New factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for management to predict all of such factors, nor can it assess the impact of each such factor on the business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained or implied in any forward-looking statement.
The following are some important factors that could have a significant impact on NextEra Energy's and FPL's operations and financial results, and could cause NextEra Energy's and FPL's actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those discussed or implied in the forward-looking statements:
NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s results of operation may be adversely affected by the extensive regulation of their businesses.
NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s financial performance could be negatively affected if FPL is unable to recover, in a timely manner, certain costs, a return on certain assets or an appropriate return on capital from its customers through regulated rates and cost recovery clauses.
NextEra Energy and FPL are subject to federal regulatory compliance and proceedings which have significant compliance costs and expose them to substantial monetary penalties and other sanctions.
NextEra Energy and FPL may be adversely affected by increased governmental and regulatory scrutiny or negative publicity.
NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s businesses are subject to risks associated with legislative and regulatory initiatives.
NextEra Energy and FPL are subject to numerous environmental laws and regulations that require capital expenditures, increase their cost of operations and may expose them to liabilities.
NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s businesses could be negatively affected by federal or state laws or regulations mandating new or additional limits on the production of GHG emissions.
The operation and maintenance of nuclear generation facilities involve risks that could result in fines or the closure of nuclear units owned by FPL or NextEra Energy Resources and in increased costs and capital expenditures.
NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s operating results could suffer if they do not proceed with projects under development or are unable to complete the construction of, and capital improvements to, generation, transmission, distribution and other facilities on schedule and within budget.
The operation and maintenance of power generation, transmission and distribution facilities involve significant risks that could adversely affect the results of operations and financial condition of NextEra Energy and FPL.
The occurrence of any of these effects or events could result in, among other matters, lost revenues due to prolonged outages, increased expenses due to monetary penalties or fines, replacement equipment costs or an obligation to purchase or generate replacement power at potentially higher prices to meet contractual obligations. Insurance, warranties or performance guarantees may not cover any or all of the lost revenues or increased expenses. Breakdown or failure of an operating facility of NextEra Energy Resources, for example, may prevent NextEra Energy Resources from performing under applicable power sales agreements which, in some situations, could result in termination of the agreement or subject NextEra Energy Resources to liability for liquidated damages.
NextEra Energy’s competitive energy business is subject to development and operating risks that could limit the revenue growth of this business and have other negative effects on NextEra Energy’s results of operations and financial condition.
NextEra Energy’s competitive energy business is dependent on continued public policy support and governmental support for renewable energy, particularly wind and solar projects.
NextEra Energy and FPL are subject to credit and performance risk from customers and suppliers.
NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s results of operations may continue to be negatively affected by slower customer growth and customer usage in FPL’s service area.
NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s financial position and results of operations are subject to risks associated with weather conditions, such as the impact of severe weather.
Disruptions, uncertainty or volatility in the credit and capital markets may negatively affect NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s ability to fund their liquidity and capital needs and to meet their growth objectives, and can also adversely impact the results of operations and financial condition of NextEra Energy and FPL and exert downward pressure on the market price of NextEra Energy’s common stock.
NextEra Energy’s, FPL Group Capital Inc’s (FPL Group Capital) and FPL’s inability to maintain their current credit ratings may adversely affect NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s liquidity, limit the ability of NextEra Energy and FPL to grow their businesses, and increase interest costs, while the liquidity of the companies also could be impaired by the inability of their credit providers to maintain their current credit ratings or to fund their credit commitments.
The use of derivative contracts by NextEra Energy and FPL in the normal course of business could result in financial losses or the payment of margin cash collateral that could adversely affect their results of operations or cash flows.
NextEra Energy’s ability to successfully identify, complete and integrate acquisitions is subject to significant risks, including, but not limited to, the effect of increased competition for acquisitions resulting from the consolidation of the power industry.
NextEra Energy may be unable to meet its ongoing and future financial obligations and to pay dividends on its common stock if its subsidiaries are unable to pay upstream dividends or repay funds to NextEra Energy or if NextEra Energy is required to perform under guarantees of obligations of its subsidiaries.
Changes in tax laws, as well as judgments and estimates used in the determination of tax-related asset and liability amounts, could adversely affect NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.
NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s retail businesses are subject to the risk that sensitive customer data may be compromised, which could result in an adverse impact to their reputation and/or the results of operations of the retail business.
A failure in NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s operational systems or infrastructure, or those of third parties, could impair their liquidity, disrupt their businesses, result in the disclosure of confidential information and cause losses.
Threats of terrorism and catastrophic events that could result from terrorism, cyber attacks, or individuals and/or groups attempting to disrupt NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s businesses may impact the operations of NextEra Energy and FPL in unpredictable ways and could adversely affect NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.
The ability of NextEra Energy and FPL to obtain insurance and the terms of any available insurance coverage could be adversely affected by international, national, state or local events and company-specific events, as well as the financial condition of insurers. NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s insurance coverage may not provide protection against all significant losses.
The businesses and results of operations of NextEra Energy and FPL could be negatively affected by the lack of a qualified workforce, work strikes or stoppages and increasing personnel costs.
Poor market performance and other economic factors could affect NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s nuclear decommissioning funds’ asset value or defined benefit pension plan’s funded status, which may adversely affect NextEra Energy’s and FPL’s liquidity and financial results.
Increasing costs associated with health care plans may adversely affect NextEra Energy's and FPL's results of operations, financial position and liquidity.
The risks described herein are not the only risks facing NextEra Energy and FPL. Additional risks and uncertainties also may materially adversely affect NextEra Energy's or FPL's business, financial condition and/or future operating results.