Gas Executives' Forum
New technologies cloud the future for the traditional electric utility, but offer hope to the gas industry in boosting residential demand.
Investors apparently were paying attention in January when a Web-based analyst predicted Plug Power's stocks could gain 10,000 percent or more by 2010. Before month's end, the fuel cell manufacturer, which doesn't expect to turn a profit before 2004, saw a ninefold increase from the $16 closing day share price at its October initial public offering. That month Avista Corp.
Vicky A. Bailey, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, has left the FERC to serve as president of Cinergy Corp.'s PSI Energy Inc. unit in Indiana. Bailey served on the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission before joining FERC in 1993.
Janet Gail Besser, chair of the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy for two years and a board member since 1995, resigned in December. She was to join consultant Lexecon Inc. in March.
SEMCO ENERGY Inc. named Barrett Hatches president of ENSTAR Natural Gas Co. He succeeds Richard Barnes.
An alternative measure of performance - not based on dividends, earnings growth or P/E ratios.
How to place a value on a utility company? That is the question.
The traditional models no longer work very well. Dividend discount models will not work well if utilities cut dividends and buy back stock to return capital to the shareholders. Earnings growth offers no reliable performance gauge either, as utilities acquire or divest large amounts of capital. Restructuring charges often become necessary to shift resources to their best use.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission appointed Bud Earley policy advisor on electric matters. Earley most recently served as director of the electric policy division of the FERC's Office of Economic Policy. The FERC named Bobbie J. McCartney an administrative law judge. She previously served as deputy chief administrative law judge in the Social Security Administration's Office of Hearings and Appeals.
The Bonneville Power Administration named Jeff Stier its new vice president of national relations. Stier joins BPA after 12 years on the staff of Rep.
Mergers & Acquisitions
CP&L + Florida Progress. Carolina Power & Light announced Aug. 23 that it would purchase Florida Progress Corp. for $5.3 billion in a combination that would create the nation's ninth-largest utility in terms of generating capacity, with $6.7 billion in annual revenues and 2.5 million customers in three states. CP&L would pay a premium (between 16.5 percent and 21 percent) over the pre-announcement share price of FP stock.