Dallas-based Texas Utilities Co. is changing its name to TXU,which is also the company’s stock symbol. The action bringstogether divisions and subsidiaries, domestic and international,under one name. TU Electric/Lone Star Gas, the company’s largestdomestic operation, will be renamed TXU Electric & Gas.
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The natural gas utility industry may be small when compared toother investment opportunities, but it’s still an extremelyattractive stock play – especially for the small- to medium-sizedinvestor, said a representative of the American Gas Association(AGA) last week.
Walter Higgins, CEO of AGL Resources Inc., stood and faced themusic recently at the annual shareholders meeting in Atlanta asstock owners voiced their opinions concerning AGL Resources’subsidiary Atlanta Gas Light’s (AGL) over-billing controversy. TheGeorgia Public Service Commission and AGL settled the issue earlierthis month, with AGL agreeing to alter its billing methods andrefund $14.5 million to customers. The incident enraged manypeople, including one shareholder who demanded Higgins’resignation.
With its stock price languishing around a dollar, ChesapeakeEnergy is watching the depressed gas and oil market from atop a$900 million mountain of debt. The view, according to CEO Aubrey K.McClendon, is one of opportunity. “We think our company has one ofthe best upside stories for natural gas prices down the road.”
DuPont’s board of directors approved the previously announcedinitial public offering (IPO) of Conoco common stock before the endof 1998. Following completion of the IPO, DuPont intends to offerits remaining Conoco shares to DuPont shareholders in exchange forDuPont shares in a tax-free split-off expected to be completedwithin 12 months.
Energen Resources Corp., the oil and gas subsidiary of EnergenCorp., reported it signed a definitive agreement to acquire thestock of Total Minatome Corp. for $110 million, plus $22 million inlegal and financial obligations. For its investment, EnergenResources will gain an estimated 200 billion cubic feet equivalent(Bcfe) of proved domestic oil and natural gas reserves. Immediatelyupon closing the transaction on Oct.15, Energen Resources (formerlyTaurus Exploration Inc.) plans to sell a 31% undivided interest inTotal Minatome’s assets to Westport Oil and Gas Co. Inc.
Consolidated Edison and Orange and Rockland Utilities agreed tomerge with ConEd acquiring all the common stock of O&R for$58.50 per share in a deal worth about $790 million. O&R wouldbecome a wholly owned subsidiary of ConEd. The transaction would beaccounted for as a purchase and is expected to be accretive toConEd’s earnings per share after the first year.