FERGUS FALLS, Minn., April 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Otter Tail Corporation (Nasdaq: OTTR) hosted 370 shareholders and guests at its annual meeting of common shareholders on Monday, April 14 in Fergus Falls, Minn. Represented by proxy or present in person at the meeting were 84% of the corporation's total shares outstanding. Shareholders reelected Nathan Partain, and elected James Stake and John Erickson to serve three-year terms on Otter Tail Corporation's board of directors.
Partain has served on the board since 1993. He is president and chief investment officer of Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co. and president, CEO and CIO of DNP Select Income Fund, Chicago. Stake, of St. Paul, Minn., is a recently retired 3M Company executive. He served as 3M's executive vice president of enterprise services and also chaired several 3M committees including risk management and environmental, health and safety. Stake fills the opening created by the retirement of Dennis Emmen, former CFO of Otter Tail Power Company, who served on the board for 24 years. Erickson, Otter Tail Corporation's president and CEO, became a director one year ago by board appointment following another director's retirement.
In his address to shareholders, Erickson said Otter Tail Corporation had a successful year in 2007, with revenues, earnings, stock price and dividends all showing increases. "2007 was a good year for Otter Tail shareholders," he said. "Our stock price increased 11% and, combined with a dividend yield of 3.8%, total shareholder return was 14.8%. This is the third consecutive year of double-digit total shareholder return." The corporation's nonelectric businesses produced 55% of 2007 net income, and Erickson cited strong performance in its manufacturing platform and a turnaround in its potato processing business as key earnings drivers.
Several Otter Tail companies have significant involvement in wind energy, Erickson said. "Otter Tail Power Company now has an ownership stake in the Langdon Wind Energy Center and will continue to add wind resources. DMI, our wind tower manufacturer, is strategically positioned with three plant locations to better serve wind energy developers in Canada and the United States. We have construction subsidiaries working to build and connect wind farm infrastructure, and our trucking company has added heavy haul service to transport larger items such as wind towers. It is an exciting time for us in the wind energy arena, and we have a lot of opportunity ahead."
In a board meeting following the annual meeting, Otter Tail Corporation's board of directors declared a quarterly common stock dividend of 29.75 cents per share. This dividend is payable June 10 to shareholders of record on May 15, 2008. The board also declared quarterly dividends on the corporation's four series of preferred stock, payable on May 31 to shareholders of record on May 15, 2008. The indicated annual dividend rate for 2008 is $1.19 per share, a two-cent increase over the 2007 rate.
About The Corporation
Otter Tail Corporation has interests in diversified operations that include an electric utility, manufacturing, health services, food ingredient processing and infrastructure businesses which include plastics, construction and transportation. Otter Tail Corporation stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol OTTR. The latest investor and corporate information is available at http://www.ottertail.com. Corporate offices are located in Fergus Falls, Minn., and Fargo, N.D.
Except for historical information, all other information provided in this presentation consists of "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These "forward-looking statements" are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected, anticipated, or implied. The most significant of these risks and uncertainties are discussed or identified in Otter Tail Corporation's public filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Otter Tail Corporation undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.
SOURCE Otter Tail Corporation