long-term performance

Cap-Ex Conundrum

Does slow and steady still win the race?

When a capital-intensive industry enters an asset-building cycle, many companies will operate in the red for a few years or more. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as cap-ex investments represent growth for shareholders. The devil is in the details, however, and companies facing a large slug of environmental compliance investments might produce disappointing returns over the next few years.

The 40 Best Energy Companies

(September 2011) Our annual ranking tracks the publicly traded electric and gas companies that produce the greatest value for shareholders. Despite the year’s topsy-turvy financial markets, perennial performers like DPL, PPL and Exelon return to the top of the list. Others face looming cap-ex burdens as regulators impose new mandates and requirements. Leading companies are positioning for growth, despite a challenging landscape.

The 40 Best Energy Companies

(September 2010) Capital spending and commodity prices are driving changes in financial performance. The 2010 Fortnightly 40 report shows growing success for companies with substantial unregulated assets. As the industry resumes its Big Build, regulatory relationships will determine the long-term strength of utility shareholder returns.

Letters to the Editor

A lengthy letter to the editor addresses whether the Energy Information Administration’s gas-market forecasts, as laid out in a recent article, are biased. The authors of the original piece, Timothy J. Considine and Frank A. Clemente, then respond to the letter.

Building a Utility Roll-up Machine

How private-equity firms may consolidate the utilities industry.

Financial acquirers of utilities face a higher hurdle than traditional acquirers because their reputation for seeking out-sized returns on highly leveraged, short-term investments doesn’t play well. Shaking off that reputation will lead to more effective consolidation.

Winning the Merger Game

A new wave of consolidation is coming. To succeed, a company must understand where its strengths are.

Companies that relied heavily on mergers and acquisitions generated more than half of the value in the power industry during the past 10 years. Furthermore, more than half that value was generated by a handful of companies. How did they do it?

Energy Tech's Quantum Leap

Tomorrow's utility technology may be revolutionized at the molecular level.

Tomorrow's utility technology may be revolutionized at the molecular level.

Revolutionary changes have swept through the utility industry more than once. Although the industry often receives criticism for being slow to adapt, the fact is that utilities are continually building and rebuilding their systems and strategies around changing conditions. AAAAA AASuccess in utility planning often hinges on big things-like market restructuring or an upheaval on Wall Street. It can also depend on little things-like a piece of software or a metering device.

Cooperative Outsourcing: Securing Value from Information Technology

As competitive pressures push utilities to look for new ways to do business, outsourcing the information technology (IT) function becomes increasingly attractive. By contracting for outside IT services, utilities can reduce costs and increase efficiency.

The decision to outsource, however, now goes beyond cost-cutting considerations. Companies are just as likely to turn to outsourcing when they want to concentrate on new business opportunities or dramatically change their overall structure.