Previous Idea and Trend
In my previous idea (linked) on PCG I said I’d expect this stock to struggle downward most of the summer and reach a strong in the low $9.00 range. This has been the case so far and there’s not much that’s changed to affect my view, at this point.
I still believe the current price level is this stock’s bottom until there are other catalysts. It will remain around this level for the remainder of the summer with a possible break-out later this year (October or November).
PCG’s decision to burry 10,000 miles of cable to mitigate fire risk is, in my view, an attempt to save face given the present concerns over PCG’s role in the Dixie fire and sensitivity around the wildfire subject at large. I say this because cable burial, even when done as cheaply as feasible, is very expensive when compared to overhead installations. My preference would have been for PCG to make large investments in overhead protection of assets (specifically fuse-linked cutouts and surge-arrester failures). There are plenty of asset protection devices that almost completely mitigate the chance of asset failure and subsequent fire creation. This could have been done with fractions of the cost of cable burial and could have been done system wide instead of only across select segments (where the likelihood the most effectual burial segments could be miss-identified is high).
In my estimation, this move’s short-sightedness it mitigated by the comfort provided from concern management is showing toward future fire prevention.
Dixie Fire and PCG
From what I’ve read, it seems very unlikely PG&E had a role in starting the Dixie fire; more so considering the exact verbiage of any legal challenge would include the word “negligent”. Thus far, legal “challenges” have been political in nature rather than legally interesting: All fear, loathing, and grand-standing. Even if PG&E is found to have behaved negligently resulting in the Dixie fire, the structure of AB 1054 provides reasonable downside protection.
The Fed’s Role
As always, in this current market, we have to consider Fed actions. If talk of asset tapering manifests into actual tapering I would expect this stock to fall. We shall see.
I’m still not looking to add to my position until the common stock reaches mid-to-low $7.00 range.