Wed, May 4, 12:40 PM
- TransAlta (TAC -3.5%) is downgraded by two analysts despite reporting better than expected Q1 results.
- RBC Capital analyst Robert Kwan cut his rating to Underperform from Sector Perform, noting that while TAC shares have climbed 33% YTD, the 30-day running average for Alberta power prices has dipped below $14/MWh from $21/MWh at the end of 2015.
- Kwan also is concerned that Alberta’s new political climate will see the NDP government procure new gas and renewable energy capacity, which could depress spot prices further.
- TD Securities also downgrades TAC, to Hold from Buy, citing recent share price appreciation despite some deterioration in Alberta and Pacific Northwest power fundamentals and continued uncertainty in government discussions around compensation and power market design.
Fri, Jan. 15, 10:17 AM
- TransAlta (TAC -10.9%) cuts its quarterly dividend to $0.04/share from $0.18 to save money as it transitions toward gas and renewable power generation and away from coal.
- TAC says the move represents a 15%-20% payout of comparable free cash flow based on 2016 guidance and will save $150M on an annualized basis.
- TAC says it does not expect to raise equity this year, as the reduced dividend will "strengthen its balance sheet," and it plans to raise debt to fund $400M of obligations maturing in 2017.
- TAC, which owns more than 70 power plants in Canada, the U.S. and Australia, says it will negotiate with Alberta's government to ensure it has the certainty and capacity to invest in clean power.
- BMO Capital downgrades shares to Market Perform from Outperform.
Tue, Jan. 5, 5:41 PM
Dec. 8, 2015, 5:37 PM
Nov. 24, 2015, 11:30 AM
- Analysts are betting that renewable energy developers such as Enbridge (ENB +1.2%) and TransCanada (TRP +1.9%) will be among the best placed to make the shift to Alberta's new carbon policies, Bloomberg reports.
- As the government boosts the province’s share of renewable electricity to 30% from 9% by 2030, "renewable power contracts are going to go to the bidder that needs the least amount of government support, developers with most financial flexibility and overall lowest cost of capital” such as ENB and TRP, says National Bank Financial's Patrick Kenny.
- The two companies already are among Canada’s largest renewable power operators: ENB owns 2,065 MW of wind power across Canada, enough to power 650K homes, while TRP operates wind, hydro and nuclear plants as part of its 11.8K MW of power generation.
- TransAlta (TAC -2%) surged 9.5% yesterday as investors felt Alberta's new policy avoided the worst-case fastest potential phase-out of coal plants.
- Earlier: TransAlta +12% on Alberta climate change plan (Nov. 23)
Nov. 23, 2015, 11:57 AM
- TransAlta (TAC +12.2%) soars following the Alberta government's announced plan to phase out of coal generation and accelerate wind and solar power construction, which would give the renewable energy producer an edge over competitors.
- TAC already was planning to phase out most of its coal generation by 2030, while competitor Capital Power’s (OTC:CPXWF) coal fleet was expected to operate beyond then.
- The accelerated phase out that will affect six coal-power plants in Alberta will result in C$12B of foregone revenue to plant owners, including V$1B for TAC and C$2B for Capital Power, but producers are expected to be compensated for the phase out, "an important counterbalance," according to one analyst.
- TAC is upgraded to Sector Perform from Underperform with a $7 price target, up from $6, at RBC, which remains concerned about the decommissioning of coal plants, lower long-term power prices, and a dividend cut.
Oct. 1, 2015, 12:49 PM
- TransAlta (TAC +3.6%) agrees to pay a $56M settlement for inflating electricity bills in Alberta.
- Alberta's utilities regulator found in July that TAC had manipulated prices by shutting down six coal-fired generators during periods of peak electricity demand in 2010, and again in 2011.
- The province's Market Surveillance Administrator said TAC's profit during the shutdowns was $16M and that consumers paid 10%-60% more for their power.
Sep. 29, 2015, 6:45 PM
- TransAlta (NYSE:TAC) +3.8% AH after announcing it is cutting 239 jobs, mainly from its Calgary corporate headquarters, a move the electricity producer expects will generate ~$25M in savings.
- TAC says the decision is aimed at managing economic and regulatory uncertainty as it copes with a weakening Alberta economy.
- TAC made a similar move earlier in the year, cutting 247 jobs to save ~$22M.
Jul. 28, 2015, 11:59 AM
- TransAlta (TAC -4%) deliberately timed outages at power plants in Alberta at peak times in an attempt to drive up electricity prices, the province’s utilities regulator said in a ruling yesterday.
- Responding to allegations that the company manipulated the electricity market by shutting down coal-fired power plants in late 2010 and early 2011 to drive up power costs during periods when demand was high, the Alberta Utilities Commission found that TAC could have deferred the outages to off peak hours but chose to "take them during peak or super-peak hours so as to maximize the benefit to its own portfolio."
- The commission also found that TAC allowed one of its energy traders to use privileged information related to plant shutdowns so the company could benefit in the market.
Jul. 27, 2015, 3:20 PM
- TransAlta (TAC -2.6%) agrees to buy 71 MW of solar and wind power generation capacity in the U.S. from an affiliate of Rockland Capital for $75.8M, in the company's first foray into solar power as it seeks to reduce its reliance on coal-fired power plants
- TAC says it is acquiring a solar project in Massachusetts and a wind facility in Minnesota, contracted under long-term power purchase agreements of 20-30 years.
May 6, 2015, 2:36 PM
- Canadian energy stocks are broadly lower after the shocking election result in Alberta raised questions about the future of the country's oil industry: SU -3.3%, ENB -2.8%, TRP -2.6%, IMO -2.3%, CNQ -2.3%, CVE -5.8%, OTCQB:HUSKF -1%, TCK -1.6%, TAC -4.1%, OTCQX:COSWF -6%.
- "Energy is such a critical issue to Alberta, I’m really not that concerned," ENB CEO Al Monaco says, but investors and analysts disagree.
- "It’s completely devastating" for energy companies and investors, saysCanoe Financial's Rafi Tahmazian of stated plans by the newly elected government to raise corporate taxes, review the government’s take of energy revenue, scale back advocacy for pipelines and phase out coal power more quickly.
- “If you are invested in energy stocks, you should be concerned,” says AltaCorp’s Jeremy McCrea, noting that drillers already face higher costs to extract oil and gas in Alberta than in many jurisdictions, so an increase in royalties would make the province even less competitive.
Jan. 21, 2015, 5:35 PM
Sep. 4, 2012, 4:53 PM
TransAlta (TAC) -3.1% AH after agreeing to acquire the 125 MW dual-fuel Solomon power station in western Australia from Fortescue Metals Group for $318M. TAC expects the acquisition to generate unlevered after-tax returns in the low double digits and pre-financing cash flows of ~$40M/year.| Sep. 4, 2012, 4:53 PM