A challenging year brings a change in the rankings.
(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.
(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.
Fundamental issues set companies and regulators on a collision course.
Industry leaders see a disaster coming, as the need for infrastructure investments collides with the economic interests of utility shareholders and customers. In a shaky economy and a politically charged campaign season, proposals for new capital expenditures are certain to cause trouble. Avoiding the train wreck will require real leadership in finding compromise solutions.
(September 2008) Shareholder value remains strong as the Big Build begins. Our fourth annual ranking shows healthy growth in earnings and share prices. But as capital spending grows, dividends are shrinking and equity returns are weakening. Regulatory relationships will separate future winners from losers.
Utilities showed strong gains last year, but other industries are gaining ground.
The Dow Jones Utilities Index posted another year of solid gains in 2006. As might be expected, in connection with both the near-term and longer-term historical investor performance of the utility sector, there’s a story within the story. Further, this performance history provides a context against which the impact of both current and emerging issues can be assessed.
Leadership requires alignment between performance measurement and strategic priorities.
A defense of the total return to shareholders (TRS). Our authors use TRS as the bottom-line performance indicator, and come up with a number of performance insights.
A review of total shareholder returns shows how growth and merger strategies drove performance last year.
To better understand the performance of the electric utility sector from both a short-term and long-term perspective, we examined the total shareholder return (TSR)—dividends plus change in stock price—of 58 electric companies for 2005 and for three- and five-year periods. We grouped these companies into four categories to better understand the impact of alternative strategies on investor performance: Recovering, Traditionalist, Growth, and Merger.
More consolidation could trim costs, but some CEOs fear a backlash from regulators.
With the possible exception of keeping the lights on, the merger game dwarfs just about every other question facing today’s electric utilities. The last big wave of consolidation hit in the late 1990s. Now the forecast calls for a repeat performance, but don’t bet the farm. There’s a hitch, you see. It’s today’s high commodity costs.