John G. Russell, President and Chief Executive Officer of CMS Energy and its Principal Subsidiary, Consumers Energy (CMS) Interviews with the Wall Street Transcript

Wall Street Transcript

67 WALL STREET, New York - February 19, 2014 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published its Alternative Energy & Utilities Report offering a timely review of the sector to serious investors and industry executives. This special feature contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with public company CEOs, Equity Analysts and Money Managers. The full issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

Topics covered: Outlook for Biofuels and Biochemicals - Asia Pacific Demand for Solar Energy - Grid Parity Timelines for Alternative Energy - Solar Energy Pricing - Government Subsidies and Regulation - Solar Growth Drivers and Headwinds - Regulatory Headwinds for U.S. Utilities

Companies include: CMS Energy Corp. (CMS) and many others.

In the following excerpt from the Alternative Energy & Utilities Report, the CEO of CMS Energy Corp. (CMS) discusses the outlook for his company for investors:

TWST: Would you begin with a brief introduction to CMS Energy Corp., including some highlights from the company's history and an overview of your current operations?

Mr. Russell: CMS Energy's primary subsidiary is Consumers Energy, the fourth-largest electric and gas combination utility in the country. We serve 1.8 million electric customers, 1.7 million gas customers. We are the second-largest investor in Michigan. We are the seventh-largest private employer. Something that continues to be an effective economic development boost is the fact that we spend $2 billion every year with Michigan companies through their goods, services and products. Consumers Energy has been around for 126 years, and we have about 7,100 employees.

TWST: You recently increased your quarterly dividend. Can you tell us the factors that contributed to that decision?

Mr. Russell: Yes, we increased our dividend to be in line with our peers with a 62% payout ratio. We increased it on January 23 by 6%, which is in line with our historical earnings growth. This shows confidence by our board in the strategy that we have and the execution of that strategy.

TWST: How would you describe the current regulatory and rate environment for your listeners?

Mr. Russell: Michigan has gone through several changes over the last few years. In 2008, there was an energy law passed which changed significantly the energy profile in Michigan. It also enabled the Michigan Public Service Commission to focus on things like renewable energy, energy efficiency and timely rate cases. So yes, the regulatory environment here in Michigan today is fair, it's constructive, and it's good for our customers and good for our shareholders. Recently, Michigan's regulatory environment was ranked top tier by Barclays.

TWST: In an earnings call earlier this year, you had said that your cost-cutting initiatives implemented over the last few years were having a better-than-planned impact. So what are those measures, and what's the impact they have had and will continue to have?

For more of this interview and many others visit the Wall Street Transcript - a unique service for investors and industry researchers - providing fresh commentary and insight through verbatim interviews with CEOs, portfolio managers and research analysts. This special issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

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