Houston-based Enron Corp. said yesterday it was “verycomfortable” with its previously announced targets for 2001recurring earnings of $1.70 to $1.75 per diluted share despite adip in its stock performance this week, which hit a 52-week low.The company will provide a general update on the company during aconference call today.
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California still faces a very uncertain electric supplysituation during peak-demand times this summer, and a massiveconservation effort about to be introduced by Gov. Gray Davis.Davis’ plan will impact all local government and businessesstatewide, and it may be the only way to avoid rolling blackouts,according to the state’s chief negotiator for long-term powercontracts.
End-of-month convergence wasn’t very effective as mostlate-February swing prices earlier this week were appreciablystronger than March indexes. However, except for dropoffs at a fewscattered points, first-of-March convergence with indexes wasfairly tidy. Cold weather spreading into the South was largelyresponsible for initial March aftermarket prices to gain anywherefrom about a nickel to 20 cents over last-of-February numbers.
Duke Energy and Williams Gas Pipeline are “pressing very hard”to wrap up their purchase of the proposed Gulfstream Natural GasSystem project, a 743-mile natural gas pipeline planned forFlorida, from The Coastal Corp. by the end of this week, accordingto a source close to the negotiations.
With the first week of financial reports for the natural gasindustry in hand, analysts are expecting overall results to be verygood, driven by an extremely cold start to the winter, robustdemand growth, low storage levels and tight supply.
As California kept its string of Stage One and Two power alertsgoing through most of last week, the plot in its now six-month-olddrama thickened with an endless array of actors and subplots.Without a break for intermission, the spotlight shifted to federalofficials in Washington, DC, late in the week for the second act ofsteps that might bring some order to the chaotic western wholesaleelectricity market covering about a dozen states.
Although still very much intact, the uptrend which has carriedprices higher for much of the year suffered a defeat yesterday, astraders liquidated positions on the open to create a potentiallybearish technical scenario. The January contract took the sell-offsquarely on the chin, tumbling $1.00 lower to evoke a lock-limitdown trading halt at about 10:15 a.m. (ET) Tuesday. Afterre-opening 15 minutes later with new two-dollar limits in eitherdirection, the market continued lower to finish at $8.145, down$1.268 for the session.
Producers are in for a very profitable year if recent thirdquarter earnings reports are any indication. Occidental Petroleumreported a three-fold increase in third quarter earnings comparedto the same period last year, going from $126 million ($0.35 pershare) in 3Q99 to $402 million ($1.09 per share) in 3Q2000. Thesuccessful performance is mainly the result of higher commodityprices. Oxy’s earnings before special items for the third quarterwere $370 million ($1.00 per share) as opposed to last year for thesame time period when the company posted $125 million ($.35 ashare). Oxy’s oil and gas division earned $690 million beforespecial items, compared to $279 million in 3Q99. Although commoditycosts played a large part in the increase, the company also citedan increase in production volumes due to its acquisition of AlturaEnergy from Shell Exploration & Production Co. and BP duringthe second quarter of 2000. Its domestic gas production levels rosefrom 673 MMcf/d during 3Q99 to 687MMcf/d for 3Q2000, while domesticliquids (mostly crude) rose from 71,000 b/d to 210,000 b/d.
Producers are in for a very profitable year if recent third quarterearnings reports are any indication. Following on EOG’s announcementTuesday of a 250% earnings hike, Occidental Petroleum Corp. (Oxy)Wednesday reported a three-fold increase in third quarter earningscompared to the same period last year, going from $126 million ($0.35per share) in 3Q99 to $402 million ($1.09 per share) in 3Q2000 (seeDaily GPI, Oct. 18).
Gulf Canada Resources Ltd. has been a very busy company thisOctober, and its only just beginning. After announcing it plannedto acquire Crestar Energy two weeks ago, the company yesterday saidit has mailed its formal purchase offer to the shareholders ofCrestar, and in unrelated news, the company has sold its remaining50% interest in Gulf Midstream Services (GMS) located in westernCanada to Keyspan Corp.