9/10/1999

AEP Marks 50 Years as NYSE-Listed Company

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 10, 1999 – American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) has found gold in the stock market. E. Linn Draper Jr., AEP chairman, president and chief executive officer, rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange today to commemorate the company's golden anniversary -- 50 years -- as a NYSE-listed company. The company was first listed on Sept. 1, 1949. "This is indeed a momentous occasion for our company, our employees and our shareholders," Draper said. "Mergers, acquisitions and the changing needs of the consumer have eliminated many companies that were prominent names 50 years ago. We can look with pride on the fact that AEP remains a leader in its industry and has reached 50 years on the New York Stock Exchange." In 1949, American Electric Power was known as American Gas and Electric Company, its name since the company was incorporated on Dec. 20, 1906. Its headquarters were in New York and its first NYSE symbol was AGC. In 1958, company shareholders approved a name change to American Electric Power and the stock symbol became AEP. The company moved to Columbus in 1980. If a person had invested $1,000 in American Gas and Electric stock on Sept. 1, 1949, and reinvested the dividends for 50 years, they would own American Electric Power stock worth almost $151,000 today. That's an average annual growth rate of 10.52 percent. "AEP has been a very successful company for its 94 years of existence," Draper said. "Of course, if someone looked at our company or industry a decade ago they likely would have identified little change from 1949, when we were first listed on the New York Stock Exchange. We supplied electricity to customers in a regulated service territory and earned a rate of return set by utility commissions in our states. "Now our industry is experiencing change faster than at any time in history," Draper said. "Our companies and our customers are preparing for a deregulated marketplace, with customers having a choice of electricity suppliers. Many companies, including AEP, are involved in mergers. AEP and other U.S. utilities have holdings in other countries, and major utilities in other countries are seeking utility assets in the U.S." Change creates challenges, Draper said. "AEP has long been known for engineering excellence, for being among the most efficient generators and distributors of electricity, and for having among the lowest electricity prices in the nation," Draper said. "We're proud of the skills that have made us successful, but we must continue to add new skills to meet the changing needs of the marketplace. "Today AEP is one of the leaders in the competitive wholesale electricity market and one of the leaders in electricity trading," Draper said. "We've developed these capabilities in the last two years. Now we are working on skills necessary to be successful in the competitive retail electricity marketplace of the future." What else was happening 50 years ago Sept. 1? -- Harry Truman was in the White House. -- The New York Yankees, with Casey Stengel in his first year as manager, were battling the Boston Red Sox for the American League lead. The Yankees would win the World Series the following month, beating the National League champion, the Brooklyn Dodgers, four games to one. (There were eight teams in each league in 1949. Today there are 14 American League and 16 National League teams with three divisions in each league.) -- Television was still in its infancy, but its first detective show -- "Martin Kane, Private Eye," starring William Gargan -- debuted Sept. 1 on NBC. -- Viljo Heino of Finland set a world record that day, running the 10,000 meters (6.2 miles) in 29:27.2. The previous record holder, Emil Zatopek of Czechoslovakia, regained the record a month later. (The record is now 26:22.75, held by Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia). -- A postage stamp cost 3 cents. A gallon of milk sold for 84 cents, a loaf of bread 14 cents. You could fill your $1,650 new car with gasoline for 20 cents a gallon. The average annual income was $2,959. -- And 1949 was the beginning of the longest bull run market on record, with stock prices rising without significant interruption for the next eight years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Friday, Sept. 2, 1949, at 179.08. It broke the 500 mark on March 12, 1956, but didn't reach 1,000 until Nov. 14, 1972. The Dow Industrials topped 11,000 for the first time on July 16, 1999. AEP, a global energy company, is one of the United States' largest investor-owned utilities, providing energy to 3 million customers in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. AEP has holdings in the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Australia. Wholly owned subsidiaries provide power engineering, energy consulting and energy management services around the world. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio. On Dec. 22, 1997, AEP announced a definitive merger agreement for a tax-free, stock-for-stock transaction with Central and South West Corp., a public utility holding company based in Dallas.

For More Information, Contact: Pat D. Hemlepp Manager, Media Relations American Electric Power 614/223-1620

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