It's really lack of growth. Ameren's customer base is mainly the St. Louis area and rural Illinois. Not much growth in those areas. The other thing is that with the stock price going lower, the dividend payout was sitting at about 88% of earnings, much higher than most utility stocks (around 60%). That is why you just saw them make an adjustment this week. Overall, their cash position is good, and when the overall economy starts to recover (hopefully), their position should continue to improve. The regulatory environment in Illinois has stabilized somewhat as well. In Missouri, they are looking at building another nuke plant, but it remains to be seen if that is feasible financially - rates are really on the low end there.
Looking at other stocks this is a very good dividend stock. Yes it stayed the same over 10 years but it is given out quarterly. Very consistent through the ups and downs.
Right now the yield is at 7.90%, you will be hard press in this economy to find anything that high. Especially if you are not going to be investing much money.
This is a very good stock to have in your portfolio. While most stocks are going down and stop paying dividends, this becomes a good hedge.
The stock price will eventually get back into the 40s'-50's, and over the long term this will become a very good investment if you reinvest your dividends. If you get into Amerens Dividend Reinvestment and Stock Purchase Plan, you know what you are getting in the future.
Patience, patience, don't be in a hurry to invest all of your money at once in AEE; I don't believe management is greedy, but growth/returns may be limited over the next six (6) months to one (1) year. Incremental purchases over the next six (6) may be your best discipline. Be cautious and good luck!