SCANA to invest $500M more in nuclear reactors (copy)

The financial and political fallout from the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project prompted SCANA Corp. to cut its dividend. File

SCANA Corp. is maintaining its dividend at a sharply reduced rate, two months after slashing the amount it returns to shareholders.

The embattled owner of South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. said Friday that its board approved the payout at $12.37 cents a share for the third quarter.

The Cayce-based company slashed its dividend by 80 percent in June for the first time in nearly two decades after state lawmakers moved to cut a portion of the revenue SCANA was charging its power users to pay for the failed V.C. Summer Nuclear Station expansion. The company walked away from that troubled $9 billion project more than a year ago.

In all, the dividend now costs SCANA about $17.6 million each quarter at the current rate, down from $87 million previously.

The company said in June the reason for cutting the shareholder payouts was to “preserve its options” as it tries to resolve who pays for the V.C. Summer project.

The next checks go out Oct. 1.

"As noted in previous company disclosures, the payment of future dividends will be evaluated quarterly by SCANA’s board of directors," the company said.

The stock closed down less than 1 percent Friday at $38.34. Shares of SCANA are down 36 percent from a year ago.

Contact John McDermott at 843-937-5572 or follow him on Twitter at @byjohnmcdermott