Dominion Adds Nukes to Powerful Attraction
Bhambhani, Dipka, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
Dominion Resources Inc., the Richmond parent of Virginia Power, has always been a steady performer. Now, as the industry deregulates, the company is expanding its nuclear capabilites and catching the attention of analysts and Wall Street investors alike.
"They are going to be a super regional player because they have both gas and electricity," said Timothy Winter analyst for A.G. Edwards. "And, nuclear is an addition to the strategy."
The stock closed Friday on the New York Stock Exchange at $xx .
But, many analysts are projecting a stock price in the mid-$40s, and some as high as $52 per share, according to the company.
Analysts say the company has been proving itself as an efficent nuclear energy provider with its two nuclear plants, one in Louisa County, Va. and another along the James River.
"They have been the most cost efficient plants in the country," said Tom Farrell, chief executive officer of Dominion Energy, the umbrella company and portfolio management division of Dominion Resources, also boasting that Dominion is the largest energy provider in the area.
"If you can run a nuclear plant efficiently, it can be cheaper than coal and natural gas," said Matt Stith, associate analyst for First Union.
Dominion Resources split into four divisions and pared its work force through early retirements and layoffs following its $9 billion merger with Consolidated Natural Gas Co. of Pittsburgh.
The merger brought Dominion 2 million gas customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia, expanding its customer base to 4 million.
The approval of that merger by the Federal Trade Commission on November 5, 1999, increased investor interest as the stock experienced its 52-week high of $49. …