For Exelon, a 20% Rally is Just the Beginning…
Well, the stock has actually surged about 20% since that recommendation. It’s up 25% year-to-date.
So what did we know that everyone else didn’t?
A couple of things…
To begin with, our recommendation came shortly after Exelon cut its dividend by 41%. That decision was toxic for many analysts and investors, and it resulted in a 6.25% decline for the stock.
Still, it was the right decision, as it freed up $700 million for the company.
We also knew that natural gas prices were experiencing a sustainable rally. We told you natural gas prices would climb back above $4 per thousand cubic feet (mcf) – and they did.
But that’s not all.
Exelon is unique among energy companies – and that’s why this rally is just the beginning…
Advantages Seen and Unseen
What separates Exelon from the field is that it produces electricity from both natural gas and nuclear power.
In fact, Exelon is the largest nuclear power generator in the United States.
That’s something that worked against the company in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, as many analysts and investors thought the 2011 meltdown would herald the end of nuclear power as we knew it.
But just like with the dividend, that line of thinking was misguided. Despite Fukushima, demand for nuclear power is growing at a global level.
As of February 2013, 30 countries worldwide were operating 437 nuclear reactors for electricity generation, with 14 countries constructing 71 new nuclear plants. In fact, more than a dozen countries get more than 25% of their energy from nuclear today, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute.
And here’s the thing: As natural gas prices rise, nuclear power will gain even more momentum, since it’s cheaper to produce.
Furthermore, through its acquisition of Constellation Energy in early 2012, Exelon attained an electricity trading operation.
That means, in addition to producing power, Exelon also operates a “trading desk” through which it buys and sells electricity to other providers. That’s important, because it allows Exelon to more fully exploit the price difference between gas and nuclear power.
That is, if natural gas prices rise much higher, the company can rely on its cheaper nuclear production. That gives Exelon an advantage over other natural gas suppliers.
This is a fairly potent combination, and it should result in better margins and higher profits.
That’s why Exelon belongs in your portfolio as both a nuclear play and a stealth natural gas play.
Look for any pullback in prices as an opportunity to ride this trend well into the future.
And “the chase” continues,