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  • 8 Wonders Of The Renewable World [View article]
    Instead of pushing the idea of using puts against EXC, wouldn't it be better to buy NLR or a better nuclear utility? Since puts are really bets, and a depreciating one at that, it would be better to use the funds to buy a solid nuclear utility.

    My buy list/wish list would include SO, NEE, DUK, PEG, and maybe even ETR. NLR may not be the best etf for the nuclear utility approach since it has uranium miners, industrial giants, and a wide spread over the nuclear enterprise.
    Jan 31, 2014. 03:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Exelon Revisited [View article]
    Thanks Erryl for your 25 years of service at the EXC nuclear plant! Even though the stock price has been erratic, I will keep my EXC shares through thick or thin because of the great operations history for the nuclear plants for many years. The one-nuke-plant utilities have been wise to have Exelon Nuclear operate their unit, and the operators I know, and some of my former Penn State students work at Exelon are extremely dedicated, well trained, and motivated to run the plants safely. Since I worked in utility-land for 14 years, was a professor at Penn State's nuclear engineering program, and now work at a federal agency involved with nuclear R&D, I have seen how well the Exelon fleet has operated, and even set the bar higher for others!

    Not every nuke utility has my confidence, including FE, because of their poor operations. So I only invest in those nuke utilities that have excellent operations.
    Jan 30, 2014. 11:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Exelon Revisited [View article]
    Some utilities have dropped below their book value. including GXP, and NEE is hovering at P/B at 1.08..... don't be too sure about its falling again!

    But even Zach's has raised EXC to a 2 ranking and indicates that it is a BUY.
    Jan 30, 2014. 11:14 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Exelon Revisited [View article]
    Are you advocating investing only in utilities that have plants and operate in regulated markets, and to avoid the unregulated market?

    Having bought my EXC shares for the equivalent of $10 (post split) but early 1990's, and 1980's when the price to book was less than 1.0, and the P/E was low, etc., I am still a happy investor..... Of course EXC management should be criticized for various decisions, and others above and before have opined about management flaws.

    But this could be a buying opportunity, caveat emptor.
    Jan 28, 2014. 02:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Exelon 38% Undervalued With A 5.4% Yield Based On Normalized Cash Flow [View article]
    Yes, you are correct about nuclear plants not doing load-follow operations.
    Two decades ago some plants had load-follow programs using control rod insertion patterns and changing T-in, T-out by changing steam generator (PWR) pressure or BWR recirculation pump speeds. The control rod motion was detrimental because of flux "pinches", fuel linear heat generation rates, etc. And with the xenon buildup and oscillation problems it was a no-brainer to stop control rod/load follow maneuvers...
    With the natural gas price soaring, let's see if folks realize that nuclear power makes sense...
    Jan 27, 2014. 03:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Utility Stocks: 2 To Sell, 1 To Hold [View article]
    FE downgraded (again!) today--finally the analysts are seeing what is wrong with the way FE manages and performs. Other utilities are strong, especially because of the week markets. Buying opportunities.
    Jan 27, 2014. 12:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Utility Stocks: 2 To Sell, 1 To Hold [View article]
    You are using old news on dividend cuts to make future estimates and decisions. The bigger question is the risk involved with these utilities' operations, construction projects, regional growth and energy demand etc. Also, they all have nuclear plants that they own and operate.

    EXC has the largest nuclear fleet in the US (about 1/5th of the total fleet!!) and has a good operating record, strength in covering a large area of the country. EXC management has been highly criticized, especially for cutting the dividend, but in hindsight, it was a good move. EXC merger with Constellation to pick up the Calvert Cliffs nuclear reactors was very strategic, even if the share price dropped. They got the units at bargain prices.

    SO is strong, has excellent nuclear operations, and a growing energy market in the southwest. Yes, SO is building a new nuclear plant, but it is doing it with the Georgia public utilities commission that is favorable, and in a regulated electricity market, vs. merchant power. SO construction problems are tied up with its coal plant construction.

    But FE has a very poor nuclear operation history, and near misses with its Davis Besse plant. The FE market is not expanding, and the public utility commission environment is just miserable!! I wouldn't own it in my portfolio until they get their act together!!

    I own EXC and SO, but FE, never held it, and I will not buy FE shares until there is a significant turnaround in their nuclear operations, market growth, and management!
    Jan 24, 2014. 02:23 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Exelon 38% Undervalued With A 5.4% Yield Based On Normalized Cash Flow [View article]
    Very interesting remarks.

    If you were to look at the statistics for the US nuclear fleet vs. the international nuclear fleet, the US plants have higher availability and capacity factors, and the US nuclear fleet has higher capacity factors than all other US energy sources!. See:

    Natural gas prices seem to dominate the nuclear vs. gas plant debate. See this discussion about real gas prices:

    My favorite remark about French vs. American nuclear plant designs was given by a French regulator, where he said: "In France, we have one nuclear plant design, and 100 different cheese varieties, but in the US, they have 100 different plant designs and only one cheese--Velveeta!" He also remarked that having a uniform plant design was good for safety, and enjoying the many French cheese flavors was good for taste buds.
    Jan 16, 2014. 02:20 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Dividend Cuts Can Make Stocks Attractive [View article]
    This article is counter-intuitive and somehow misses the point. The reason WHY the divided is cut, and why the BOD would even think of doing this. Better run companies would not increase the dividend, look at pay-out ratios, and work the magic on the books to show how they are using the money better by reinvesting it in upgrades, plant, research etc.

    Companies cutting dividends by a large fraction (say more than 5%) show that they do not have more than a quarter/3 month thinking horizon!!
    Jan 15, 2014. 04:30 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Deep Freeze Causes Forced Power Generation Outages - Preview OF Future Problems? [View article]
    Ripp: Good response. In fact, these units came back up quickly. 97 out of the US 100 nuclear power plants were operating above 90% capacity and handled record electricity demand during the extremely cold, snowy weather. Besides natural gas line problems, there were iced solid coal piles, and ice flows on the Niagara river impacted both Ontario Hydro's and NY Power Authority's Robert Moses Hydro station!
    The nuclear fleet performed extremely well, see:
    Jan 14, 2014. 01:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Deep Freeze Causes Forced Power Generation Outages - Preview OF Future Problems? [View article]
    Rip: Good response! To further elaborate, the NUKE plants provided most of the electric energy to the grid while the gas lines and coal piles froze up. Even the Niagara river ice flows caused problems for Ontario Hydro and the US New York Power Authority's Robert Moses hydro station! In fact 97 of the US nuclear reactors were running strong, over 90% capacity unfazed by the cold, snow, and mess. The three that were down, came back quickly enough to handle the extremely large energy demand:
    See the details at:
    Jan 14, 2014. 12:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Duke Energy A Buy ? [View article]
    Duke runs a very tight ship on their nuclear plants, Oconee, Catawba. Their decision regarding the shut down of the Crystal River reactor because of the containment issues was prudent, and the way they are paying for the stabilization and shutdown will not impact shareholders:
    Even with a lemon plant from the Progress merger, they have managed to make lemonade. Duke is a steller performer in my portfolio.
    Jan 14, 2014. 12:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 8 Facts About Plug Power [View article]
    Where have you been? DOE funded Solyndra and other fiasco companies!!! The DOE has pumped in millions to faulty, green energy companies, only to have them go belly up, or have poor results--as a result of the Obama administration's effort to push solar, hydrogen cell, windmills etc. You must be missing lots of news.
    Jan 10, 2014. 01:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A 7.6% Yield From A Strong Regional Utility [View article]
    More of the same-old same-old from the author, except that the stock price has dropped so the yield is higher. Read previous articles and you will see this is just a rehash.....not useful.
    Jan 8, 2014. 03:18 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • It's Time To Exit Exxon And Chevron Stock [View article]
    What planet are you on today? Sell oil company shares?

    XOM, COP, CVX have relatively low P/Es, good growth rates, and therefore low PEGs, and higher returns on investment ratios, low betas, very high predictability and stability, and are very safe investments, compared to DJIA, most S&P 500 companies, etc. Strong cash flow, integrated assets and production, some R&D focus, and multi-nation footprint that helps to stabilize any national upsets. The oil stock dividends are steady, based on a low payout ratio, and good EBIDTA. These big 3 oil companies are looking at ways to get natural gas production, vs. burning it off, and have been responsible environmentally over the past 2 decades or more.

    If you wanted to say something useful about price fluctuations within Bollinger bands, then it should be: "Buy when they dip low and hold long when inside or fluctuate slightly higher than upper Bollinger limit....capture some profits only when significantly above upper limit (perhaps more than 15%?) and buy on dips. Dollar cost averaging is suggested..."

    You said to sell and buy "more productive instruments" -what possible S&P 500 or big companies can you find anywhere with such strong stock? If your "instruments" are options, bonds, preferred shares, REITs, etc you are comparing apples and oranges.....
    Jan 6, 2014. 03:20 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment