FERGUS FALLS, Minn., April 14 Otter TailCorporation (Nasdaq: OTTR) hosted 370 shareholders and guests at its annualmeeting of common shareholders on Monday, April 14 in Fergus Falls, Minn.Represented by proxy or present in person at the meeting were 84% of thecorporation's total shares outstanding. Shareholders reelected NathanPartain, and elected James Stake and John Erickson to serve three-year termson Otter Tail Corporation's board of directors.
Partain has served on the board since 1993. He is president and chiefinvestment officer of Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co. and president,CEO and CIO of DNP Select Income Fund, Chicago. Stake, of St. Paul, Minn., isa recently retired 3M Company executive. He served as 3M's executive vicepresident of enterprise services and also chaired several 3M committeesincluding risk management and environmental, health and safety. Stake fillsthe opening created by the retirement of Dennis Emmen, former CFO of OtterTail Power Company, who served on the board for 24 years. Erickson, Otter TailCorporation's president and CEO, became a director one year ago by boardappointment following another director's retirement.
In his address to shareholders, Erickson said Otter Tail Corporation had asuccessful year in 2007, with revenues, earnings, stock price and dividendsall showing increases. "2007 was a good year for Otter Tail shareholders," hesaid. "Our stock price increased 11% and, combined with a dividend yield of3.8%, total shareholder return was 14.8%. This is the third consecutive yearof double-digit total shareholder return." The corporation's nonelectricbusinesses produced 55% of 2007 net income, and Erickson cited strongperformance in its manufacturing platform and a turnaround in its potatoprocessing 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 theLangdon Wind Energy Center and will continue to add wind resources. DMI, ourwind tower manufacturer, is strategically positioned with three plantlocations to better serve wind energy developers in Canada and the UnitedStates. We have construction subsidiaries working to build and connect windfarm infrastructure, and our trucking company has added heavy haul service totransport larger items such as wind towers. It is an exciting time for us inthe wind energy arena, and we have a lot of opportunity ahead."
In a board meeting following the annual meeting, Otter Tail Corporation'sboard of directors declared a quarterly common stock dividend of 29.75 centsper share. This dividend is payable June 10 to shareholders of record onMay 15, 2008. The board also declared quarterly dividends on thecorporation's four series of preferred stock, payable on May 31 toshareholders of record on May 15, 2008. The indicated annual dividend ratefor 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 thatinclude an electric utility, manufacturing, health services, food ingredientprocessing and infrastructure businesses which include plastics, constructionand transportation. Otter Tail Corporation stock trades on the NASDAQ GlobalSelect Market under the symbol OTTR. The latest investor and corporateinformation is available at http://www.ottertail.com. Corporate offices arelocated in Fergus Falls, Minn., and Fargo, N.D.
Except for historical information, all other information provided in thispresentation consists of "forward-looking statements" within the meaning ofthe Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These "forward-lookingstatements" are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actualresults to differ materially from those projected, anticipated