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Edison International Hikes Dividend by 4% Despite Wildfire Risk

Edison International Inc. (EIX) is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, providing clean and reliable energy and energy services through its Edison International, Southern California Edison and Edison Energy businesses.

The company realizes most of its income from Southern California Edison (SCE), which generated $1.4 billion in net income last year compared to a $125 million loss for the Edison International parent and Edison Energy businesses. In addition to spending $5 billion per year to improve its infrastructure, the company is targeting 100% carbon-free power by 2045.

Gains Despite Wildfire Struggles

Wildfires across California have put pressure on many electric utilities. With approximately 50,000 square miles of line in the state, Edison International has significant exposure to wildfire risks and has had to pay out claims in the past. The company recently admitted that its equipment likely caused the Silverado wildfire in Orange County this past year.

Despite these challenges, it reported that its third-quarter revenue rose by 24.1% to $4.64 billion, beating consensus estimates by $800 million, while non-GAAP earnings came in at $1.67 per share, beating consensus estimates by 17 cents per share. Management narrowed its 2020 earnings guidance to $4.47 to $4.62 per share – ahead of consensus estimates.

The company raised its quarterly payable dividend for the 17th consecutive year by 4% to $2.65 per share (annual), representing a forward yield of nearly 4.2%. The dividend is payable on January 31, 2021, to shareholders on record as of December 31, 2020.

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