Slow Q4 Leads to Mergers

Written By Brianna Panzica

Posted February 17, 2012

Energy companies had a rocky fourth quarter in 2011, as unusually mild temperatures reduced usage.  And some mergers are peppering the market to make up for these losses.

Constellation Energy (NYSE: CEG) is awaiting approval by Maryland state regulators for its proposed merger with Exelon Corp. (NYSE: EXC).

Constellation’s fourth quarter was a dismal one.  The company posted losses of about $583.6 million, equating to $2.91 per share.

Overall for 2011, net loss was $340.3 million, or $1.70 per share.

The $7.9 billion deal with Exelon will help keep the company going.  Exelon operates nuclear plants around the country, and it is particularly interested in Constellation’s retail business, from which the company reported a large portion of losses.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has already granted its approval of the merger, and the rest of the decisions should be complete later today.

Constellation fell 0.63% on Friday to $36.44, and Exelon also fell 0.56% to $39.28.

Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK) is also looking forward to a merger in 2012.  Progress Energy Inc. (NYSE: PGN) had losses of about $76 million for the fourth quarter of 2011, and the two companies are working on a deal.

Duke had gains of $288 million for the fourth quarter, and though it was down from $427 a year ago, it beat analyst estimates.

A merger between Duke and Progress would create the largest utility company in the U.S.

Valued at $13.7 billion, the deal is awaiting federal approval.  Duke would purchase Progress entirely with stock, and the companies are hoping they receive the O.K.

This is the third time a proposal has been submitted for the merger, as the companies have twice faced rejection from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission out of fear that such a large utility could monopolize the industry.

For this third proposal, Duke has tried to compromise with the FERC’s sentiments.  The company would make moves to keep the industry open to competitors.

Duke was down 0.85% to $20.92 on Friday.  Progress dropped 1.22% to $53.26.

That’s all for now,


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