Fri, Oct. 23, 3:48 PM
- American Electric Power (AEP -2.8%) is downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a $62 price target, cut from $67, at Credit Suisse.
- The firm thinks AEP's consensus earnings estimates for the next three years are too high, and points out the unknown outcome surrounding the Ohio generation PPA.
- Credit Suisse favorably views some of AEP's strategic moves, including improving its return on equity, boosting transmission investments and moving out of non-regulated businesses.
Mon, Jun. 29, 11:38 AM
- Coal stocks (KOL +0.3%) are rallying after the Supreme Court threw out the EPA’s first-ever rules requiring coal-fired power plants to cut emissions of mercury and other toxic air pollutants, saying the agency should have weighed the cost of compliance in deciding whether to regulate.
- The ruling means the EPA must go back to the drawing board, which possibly could push any new emissions rules past Pres. Obama’s time in office.
- Coal companies are enjoying hefty gains: WLT +28.2%, ACI +15.1%, BTU +11.2%, ANR +5.4%, CLD +5.2%, RNO +3.9%, WLB +1.9%, CNX +1.4%.
- Select utility names also are seeing some strength: AEP +1%, PCG +0.9%, D +0.6%, NEE +0.6%, EXC +0.3%.
Wed, Jun. 10, 9:57 AM
- PJM Interconnection, the largest U.S. electricity grid, wins approval from U.S. regulators for a plan to increase reliability at power plants and avoid a repeat of the shutdowns and price spikes during the unseasonably cold winter of 2014.
- Under the plan, which takes effect in 2018 after a capacity auction this year, generators that promise to be available during peak demand periods will receive higher payouts than other plants and will be penalized for failing to meet the commitments; the auction, planned for May, was delayed after FERC declined PJM’s initial proposal and asked for more information.
- The largest generators in PJM are trading higher at the open: NRG +4.2%, AEP +1.4%, EXC +3.1%, PEG +1.1%, DYN +7.2%.
- Also: TLN +4%, NEE +1.2%, PCG +0.7%, EE +1.5%, SO +0.5%, D +0.2%, DUK +0.9%, XLU +0.9%.
Fri, Apr. 24, 2:57 PM
- American Electric Power (AEP +1.9%) is upgraded to Buy from Hold with a $62.50 price target at Deutsche Bank, which believes AEP has made great strides toward becoming a more predictable, higher quality regulated utility, with improved execution and a clearer strategy in place.
- The firm sees the trend continuing in 2015 as AEP likely will exit its merchant generation business, which should reduce volatility and allow for multiple expansion.
- AEP trades in line with regulated peers absent any value for the generation segment, DB says, implying minimal downside even if the sale price or proceeds deployment disappoint.
Wed, Apr. 1, 12:26 PM
- Dynegy (DYN -2.1%) and NRG Energy (NRG -5.6%) are sharply lower after the FERC declined to approve a capacity performance plan submitted by the PJM Interconnection consortium and asked for answers to additional questions about the initiative.
- PJM operates a wholesale electricity market in the eastern U.S.; DYN is involved in the PJM and is looking to boost its share within the Regional Transmission Organization with proposed asset purchases, and a small part of NRG's capacity is within PJM.
- Deutsche Bank analyst Jonathan Arnold notes that FERC did not reject the proposal, but says FERC's action prolongs uncertainty for investors in the electric utilities that belong to PJM, which also include Exelon (EXC -1.8%), Public Service Enterprise (PEG -1.9%), American Electric (AEP +0.2%), PPL (PPL -0.4%) and FirstEnergy (FE -1.3%).
Tue, Jan. 6, 11:36 AM
- American Electric Power (AEP +1.8%) has retained Goldman Sachs to explore options for its 7,923 MW merchant generation business, The Street.com reports.
- The power plant portfolio is expected to fetch $350-$450/kwh, which could result in a sale price of $2.8B-$3.6B, according to the report.
- The merchant business is seen as not fitting with the company's profile, as AEP is a regulated utility at its core while merchant power plants are unregulated and sell power into the competitive market where a return is not guaranteed.
Nov. 12, 2014, 2:14 PM
- Utility stocks, among the year’s top performing sectors in the market, are sharply lower today - a bad sign, says Weeden & Co. head researcher Michael Purves, who believes now is the time to reduce or hedge utility holdings such as the Utilities Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLU -1.9%).
- Ultra-low bond yields have made utility stock payouts look good by comparison., but valuations have been moving up; Purves says the rally has put XLU’s P/E ratio for the next 12 months at 17.4x, near a 10-year high.
- Investors ought to “start to take profits, given the run was getting long in the teeth,” Purves writes.
- The top 10 XLU holdings are all lower today: DUK -2.5%, NEE -1.7%, D -1.9%, SO -1.4%, EXC -2.8%, AEP -2%, SRE -1.7%, PPL -1.8%, PCG -1%, PEG -2.8%.
- Other ETFs: IDU, VPU, UPW, RYU, FUTY, FXU, PUI, SDP
Jun. 3, 2014, 12:45 PM
- EPA chief Gina McCarthy says she expects for significant changes in proposed state emission goals before a final rule is issued next year if the individual states show they can’t meet the targets.
- McCarthy says the agency made changes when developing its rules on mercury pollution in 2012 after utilities complained, and says she "wouldn’t be surprised if we made significant” revisions to the carbon proposal.
- McCarthy notes "confusion" around the targeted 30% emission cuts, saying it’s not a goal of the plan but an estimate of what the EPA thinks can be achieved.
- Coal names are broadly lower: WLT -4.4%, ACI -3.7%, ANR -2%, ARLP -1.9%, CNX -1.3%, CLD -0.3%, BTU -0.2%.
- Big utilities are mostly higher: EXC +1.6%, AEP +1%, NRG +0.7%, D +0.5%, XEL +0.4%, SO +0.3%, PEG +0.2%, NEE +0.1%, DUK -0.2%
- ETFs: XLE, XLU, TAN, ERX, KOL, IDU, VDE, OIH, ERY, FCG, VPU, DIG, KWT, GASL, DUG, IYE, GASX, PXJ, RYE, FENY, UPW, RYU, FUTY, FXN, FXU, DDG, SDP
Jun. 2, 2014, 3:31 PM
- Walter Energy (WLT -6.3%) shares aren't helped by the coal producer's statement that new EPA proposals aimed at controlling carbon emissions from U.S. power plants should have no material impact on the company; in fact, WLT is down more than peers: CNX +1.1%, BTU +0.1%, CLD -0.3%, ACI -2.8%, ANR -4.6%.
- Long-term losers also will include electric companies that burn lots of coal - such as American Electric Power (AEP +0.1%), Duke Energy (DUK -0.3%), Southern Co. (SO -0.3%) and NRG Energy (NRG -0.1%) - but stiff regulations have been expected for some time.
- Likely winners include companies that pump natural gas and those that use it as their primary fuel, such as Calpine (CPN +0.3%), and companies that operate nuclear plants that generate little carbon but have been expensive to run, such as Exelon (EXC -1%), hope that their aging plants will become more competitive.
- A reduction in coal-fired capacity would increase utilities' demand for natural gas by 3B-10B cf/day from 22B cf/day now, potential benefiting major natural gas producers like Chesapeake Energy (CHK +2.1%), Cabot Oil & Gas (COG -0.8%) and Range Resources (RRC -0.6%).
- ETFs: XLE, XLU, TAN, ERX, KOL, IDU, VDE, OIH, ERY, FCG, VPU, DIG, GASL, DUG, IYE, GASX, PXJ, FENY, RYE, UPW, FUTY, RYU, FXN, FXU, DDG, SDP
May 23, 2014, 5:36 PM
May 19, 2014, 12:38 PM
- Following a winter of forced power outages, Ohio's Public Utilities Commission is urging federal regulators to audit power generators’ claimed capabilities.
- Heavy winter use strained the capacity of regional transmission organizations and electric companies such as American Electric Power (AEP -2.7%) and led to, at times, 22% (40K MW) of forced outages for generating capacity vs. the average rate of 7%.
- The Ohio group says the increased outage rates are proof that generating units are not being properly maintained to ensure that they work during peak demand.
Apr. 25, 2014, 10:29 AM
- American Electric Power (AEP +1.7%) shares hit all-time highs after reporting Q1 earnings surged 54% thanks to "the coldest temperatures in 35 years," which led to strong residential and commercial demand.
- AEP says it saw improvement across residential and commercial customer classes, even if demand is adjusted for the weather.
- Overall utility margins increased 13% to $1.5B on favorable rate decisions and lower temperatures.
- Raised 2014 EPS guidance to $3.35-$3.55 vs. $3.35 analyst consensus estimate and prior guidance of $3.20-$3.40.
Oct. 8, 2013, 1:04 PM
- Defense is working nicely today as the utility sector (XLU +1.4%) makes a strong move higher with the rest of the market lit up bright red. Few have had use for the steady dividend payers since rates started rising in May, but the sector has stabilized over the past month and is particularly well-bid today amid panicky action in high-flying momentum favorites.
- Some individual names: Southern Company (SO +1.9%), Edison International (EIX +1.9%), Duke Energy (DUK +1.6%), FirstEnergy (FE +1.5%), XCel Energy (XEL +2.1%), American Electric Power (AEP +1.6%).
- Related ETFs: IDU, PUI, XLU, VPU, RYU, FXU, PSCU, UPW, SDP, UTLT.
Jul. 5, 2013, 10:58 AM
May 30, 2013, 11:17 AMUtilities are getting a bit of a reprieve after taking a beating over the past few days. Option implied volatility has been increasing as investors rotate out of high dividend yield positions in the wake of a rise in treasury yields: AEE +1.7%, D +0.3%, DTE +1.9%, EIX +0.6%, ETR +1.3%, EXC +0.7%, FE +0.9%, NEE +1.7%, PEG +0.8%, PPL +0.5%, SRE +1.3%, TE +0.5%, AEP +0.8%, DUK +0.6%, ED NU +1.6%, PCG +1.2%, SO +0.4%, XEL +1.3%. | May 30, 2013, 11:17 AM | 5 Comments
Jan. 17, 2012, 10:46 AMThe continuing decline in natural gas (off 6.9% today) and resultant fall in electricity prices is shelving alternative energy projects from NextEra (NEE), Exelon (EXC), and CMS, but Michael Morris of American Electric Power (AEP) warns about becoming too dependent on gas. "The way to make $4 gas, $8 gas is for everyone to go out and build ... natural-gas plants." | Jan. 17, 2012, 10:46 AM | 5 Comments
American Electric Power Co Inc is a public utility holding company, through its subsidiaries, provides electric service, consisting of generation, transmission and distribution, on an integrated basis to its retail customers.
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