El Paso Corp. (ticker: EP, exchange: New York Stock Exchange (.N))
News Release -
El Paso Energy Corporation Announces Two-For-One Stock Split, 5 Percent Common Dividend Increase and New Share Repurchase Authority
Houston, Texas, January 21, 1998-The Board of Directors of El Paso Energy Corporation has declared
a 2-for-1 stock split in the form of a 100 percent stock dividend, subject to shareholder
approval of an increase in the company's authorized common shares. The stock split
will be effective on April 1, 1998 for shareholders of record on March 13, 1998. A special
shareholder's meeting will be held on March 2, 1998 to seek approval for an increase
in the number of authorized common shares from 100 million to 275 million.
El Paso's Board also increased the quarterly dividend by 5 percent to 38.25
cents per share on a pre-split basis, payable April 1, 1998 to shareholders of record on
March 6, 1998. With this increase, El Paso's dividend has grown at an average
annual rate of 7.3 percent since the Company's initial public offering in March 1992.
The Company has increased its dividend every year since going public. Outstanding common
stock on December 31, 1997 was 59.8 million shares.
Separately, the Board also approved a new 5 million common share repurchase authority
that will replace the remaining 0.8 million repurchase authority available to the company.
The timing and amount of share repurchases, if any, will depend upon the availability and
alternate uses of capital, market conditions and other factors. The share repurchase
authority will increase to 10 million shares assuming the 2-for-1 stock split is
"Today's Board actions reflect our strong earnings and share price
growth and our continued confidence in the company's future," said William A.
Wise, chairman, president and chief executive officer of El Paso Energy Corporation.
"El Paso's share price rose 32 percent in calendar year 1997 and has
increased 255 percent since the company went public in 1992. The stock split will make the
price of EPG common stock more attractive to a wider range of investors."
With over $9 billion in assets, El Paso Energy Corporation provides energy
solutions through five business units: Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, El Paso
Natural Gas Company, El Paso Energy International Company, El Paso Field
Services Company and El Paso Energy Marketing Company. The company owns the
nation's only integrated coast-to-coast natural gas pipeline system and has
operations in interstate natural gas transmission, international infrastructure
development, gas gathering and processing, and energy marketing. Visit El Paso
Energy's web site at www.epenergy.com.
This release includes forward-looking statements and projections, made in
reliance on the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995. The companies have made every reasonable effort to ensure that the information and
assumptions on which these statements and projections are based are current, reasonable,
and complete. However, a variety of factors could cause actual results to differ
materially from the projections, anticipated results or other expectations expressed in
this release. While the companies make these statements and projections in good faith,
neither the companies nor their managements can guarantee that the anticipated future
results will be achieved. Reference should be made to the companies' (and their
affiliates') Securities and Exchange Commission filings for additional important
factors that may affect actual results.