George Fisher

Utilities, industrials, newsletter provider, value
George Fisher
Utilities, industrials, newsletter provider, value
Contributor since: 2010
Company: Guiding Mast Investments
Ma Nose,
Thanks for reading and posting your comments. OGE is a partner with CNP in ENBL. The most likely outcome will be a spin off of ENBL to CNP shareholders, (valued at about $7 per CNP share) and then the sale of CNP's interest in the General Partner to OGE for a limited amount of money. It seems ENBL is one MLP that may be worth some DD as scratching the surface shows ongoing cash flow supported by high % of fee-based business with lower exposure to commodity pricing might fund the currently extreme distribution.
I have not reviewed OGE for some time, and don't own it, so I don't really have much comments. Hope this helps
thanks for reading and posting your comments
Thanks for posting your comments. I think a big issue with electric generation is the replacement of base load coal with intermittent load alternatives without sufficient back up storage capacity, and the lack of investor understanding of the implications of this. I also think retail investors looking for gas power generation as the savior to dirty coal should also review the cost of nat gas in 2005-08 and the impact it had on Calpine.
"Q: The last line of the movie, printed on a placard, is “Michael Burry is focusing all of his trading on one commodity: Water.” It sounds very ominous. Can you describe this position to me?
A: Fundamentally, I started looking at investments in water about 15 years ago. Fresh, clean water cannot be taken for granted. And it is not — water is political, and litigious. Transporting water is impractical for both political and physical reasons, so buying up water rights did not make a lot of sense to me, unless I was pursuing a greater fool theory of investment — which was not my intention. What became clear to me is that food is the way to invest in water. That is, grow food in water-rich areas and transport it for sale in water-poor areas. This is the method for redistributing water that is least contentious, and ultimately it can be profitable, which will ensure that this redistribution is sustainable. A bottle of wine takes over 400 bottles of water to produce — the water embedded in food is what I found interesting."
From an interview with Burry in the NY Magazine last month
I appreciate your kind words and am pleased it has made you look a bit closer at the risk/rewards of both your specific selection and water uts in general. The more we review and hone our selections and thesis, over time the better investors we become.
Thanks for reading and posting your comments. I agree another avenue for investing in water infrastructure is the components. Many of the "water" ETFs include these industrial companies. At its heart, the water sector is a regulated utility.
Thanks for reading and posting your comments. West of the Atlantic, eh - encompasses a large part of the US. LOL.
I owned Cal Water CWT back in the day of the electricity shortage and huge spike in electricity prices. The largest single operating expense for water uts is electricity to power their pumps to move water from point A to point B. As an operating costs, electricity should be included in rate calculations. However, in their ultimate wisdom and to placate the masses, CWT was not allowed to pass on this cost and shareholders had to eat the spike in costs, reducing earnings. I have vowed to never own a Cal based utility again if the PUC can/will change the rules to suit their political needs. Surprised to see S&P Credit give Cal an average grade for regulatory friendliness.
Glad you found the article to be useful
Thanks for reading and posting your comments. I was a shareholder of WTR way back when it was known as Philly Surburban but sold to pay a few tuition bills. Good luck
Thanks for reading and posting your comments. Water rates are regulated by the state as is electric and gas. Good point about the balance sheet. As with most utilities, the water guys usually target about 45% to 50% equity in their cap ex budget, with the balance new debt. Over time, as regulated assets grow so does the liability portion of the balance sheet.
Ms Rose,
Nice to hear from you and I am pleased you found the article to be useful
Thanks for posting your kind words.
Dr Scholl,
Nice to hear from you again. I have been buying the relatively new ETF GHII international infrastructure. It holds toll roads, but adds airports and port terminals as well. 7 of the top 10 holdings are in this group. Under followed with a nice yield of about 5.6% based on $0.285 per qtr divy. Current stock weakness is tied to strength of USD and poor performance of some choices such as KMI. Interesting comment about Thai Expressway.
Thanks for the suggestion
Thanks for reading and posting your comments
Thanks for your comment. I do not own WEC and used the quote page of M*, which shows a 2.5% yield. However, in researching the difference, you are correct and the yield is 3.77%. The confusion lies in the 5 divy payments in 2015, rather than the usual 4. I appreciate bringing up this error for discussion.
I appreciate your kind words and am pleased you find my work to be informative and worthy of your time.
Thanks for posting your comment. I am not a big fan of ED, as discussed in the article from last Nov:
I think there are "better" uts out there. ED is ranked B+ or average for 10-yr consistancy in eps and divy growth, has a 3-yr ROIC of 3.53%, a WACC of 3.62% for a negative Net ROIC. NY State is in the middle for regulatory environments. Hope this helps
Thanks for your kind words. From 2008-2014, S&P Credit had a 4 to 5 level evaluation of regulatory environments, which I thought was better than the current 3. Now, the majority fall in the middle, reducing the effectiveness of its class separation. That being said, after years and years of searching, this is the best tool I have found for evaluation of regulatory environments, which is important for utility investors.
Thanks for reading and posting your comments.
Thanks for reading and posting your comments. I am not a big fan of the California regulatory agencies and will not invest in companies with large exposure to their rulings. SRE would be such a utility. I prefer the SE and SEP combination for natural gas exposure. Hope this helps
Thanks for the question. It got me thinking and the article below is the result. I hope it answers it to your satisfaction.
sorry, you need to select "equity" and then select a sector "utilities", and then on the top of the list of 13 ETFs "returns"
das and neh,
Thanks for reading and posting your comments.
Thanks for posting your comments. I toyed with the idea of touching on the favorable regulatory environment for SO service area, but thought I had covered that aspect in previous articles.
However, I agree that a large part of owning SO is their historic benefit of being in a business-friendly/supp... regualtory environment. Keep in mind the foray into other states with the purchase of AGL will give SO a higher exposure to state PUCs that are possibly not as accommodative.
Thanks for reading and posting your kind comments
I have found offers an interesting return comparison table of various ETF investing styles. For example, you can compare the 1,3,5-yr returns for the 13 utility ETFs listed
I stand corrected. Thanks
Thanks for your praise and I am pleased you found it comprehensive enough for current shareholders to gleam some useful information
cape and DS,
Thanks for reading and posting your comments. Glad you found the article worth your time.
Sorry to rain on your parade, but AGL sold Tropical Shipping in 2014 for $220 million. AEP's river barge historically handled AEP's coal shioments along the river network of the Midwest. It seems like a nice fit when coal was king.
Shipping in the Caribbean and maritime insurance for a natural gas distribution and pipeline company seems a bit far fetched, but who knows. <putting that little umbrella in my pina colata>
Thanks for reading and posting your comments. Glad you agree
Thanks for your time and I am glad you found the article useful. Keep an eye out for ROIC and WACC. According to, SO has a weighted average cost of capital of 3.4%, which translates into a positive hurtle rate (ROIC-WACC), an very important aspect of management analysis.