SCANA delays investor dividends
SC Electric & Gas ratepayers may find it hard to feel for the company’s investors. Ratepayers are investing $37 million a month in the embattled Lexington County-based SCANA Corp. which owns SEC&G.
Yet they have no voice in its sale to Dominion of Virginia. A shareholder vote is planned July 31 (Page A3).
But investors – many of them current or retired company employees – sunk millions of their own dollars in the company. Now they have lost much of it to misguided management of a failed $9 billion nuclear power project.
According to market analysts, SCANA’s stock has fallen another 0.5% in 2018’s 2nd quarter. SCANA’s board said they need more time to decide on paying dividends to their common stock investors.
SCANA critic Tom Clements of Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club said, “All the dividends should go to SCE&G customers until the amount they have put into the failed nuclear project is paid off.” In its 1st quarter earnings, SCANA indicated 2nd quarter dividends would be payable July 1. SCANA said that date no longer applies. If dividends are declared, payment dates will be adjusted, the company said.
SCANA did not mention a reason for the delay.
The company has been mired in financial problems since it and partner, Santee Cooper, abandoned a nuclear power project after spending $9 billion on it. State lawmakers have failed to stop the company from charging its 700,000 ratepayers $34 million a month for the project.