AES 3Q2017: We expect strengthening global economy to provide strong tailwind

As expected, AES looks to complete Alto Maipo
We believe improving global economy will provide strong tailwind
We continue to feel AEPS guidance through 2020 is conservative: We feel it’s closer to 11%, given organic growth should be some 4% and with 1% inflation, AES is already at 5% CAGR
Then new projects totaling some 6.6GW (up from 4.6GW at 2/2017) on base of some 27.0 net GW, about a 25% increase, should boost growth above 8%-10% guidance
But, AES is trading as if growth prospects are negative
Gas-to-power could be major LT growth source, particularly in Asia – reentry into China?
Philippines exit is a surprise
AES pointing towards its MCAC LNG strategy and energy storage projects to boost MT-to-LT growth
Issues surrounding AES, include, but are not limited to: 1) continues to pay more than a nominal dividend, 2) hasn’t disavowed share buybacks, and 3) growth trajectory isn’t at potential, in our view

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PNM: Recommended Decision (RD) creates unwanted drama; likely leads to May 2017 settlement agreement becoming effective

The RD is close to the SA but for two twists:

o Rates are recommended to be applied on a straight pro-rata basis

§ SA calls for higher rates for water processing company and industrial users

o Stop participation in Four Corners Power Plant (FCPP) immediately and stop PNM from recovering its investment in FCPP

· Statutory deadline for NMPRC to make a decision is January 6, 2018 but NMPRC may choose to delay the decision to as late as March 6, 2018 (two one-month suspension periods could be invoked)

· However, if the NMPRC does not make a decision by March 6, 2018 then PNM’s original December 2016 filing (OF) takes immediate effect, which, among other conditions, proposes a $99MM rate increase vs. the $62.3MM rate increase in the SA

· More importantly, if the NMPRC makes any changes to the SA, any signatory to the SA has the right to withdraw its support of the SA, and negotiations would have to start over

· However, regardless of whether or not negotiations are reopened, NMPRC must make a decision by March 6, 2018 or the OF takes effect

· Given this last condition, we believe that PNM has the advantage in negotiations given that if a decision cannot be made by March 6, 2018, its OF takes effect
Conclusion: Given the risks, we are of the opinion that the NMPRC would want to avoid drama, particularly for the two Commissioners that are up for re-election in November 2018, which implies to us that the NMPRC is likely to adopt the SA in whole to avoid reopening negotiations

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We’re sad CPN got taken out at basement price; A sad last goodbye

CPN looks to be on track to be privatized by 1Q2018 end
CPN is getting taken out at $15.25/share, well below our NIV of some $48/share and ST-Target of $34/share
We would expect an IPO of CPN once the FERC restructures the wholesale power market pricing mechanism to not only properly incorporate the true marginal pricing of renewable generation, but also to properly value ALL ancillary services and reliability and resiliency features
CPN reported 3Q2017 AEPS of some $0.63 and $669MM in AEBITDA vs. our estimate of $0.61 in AEPS and $727MM in AEBITDA, while consensus estimated AEPS at about $0.65
As of this note, while we will continue to monitor the company, we will no longer be publishing on CPN unless the privatization is reversed or another bid is accepted

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EIX 3Q2017: Strong 3Q17 performance lifts guidance; Focus on 2018 GRC

Management is showing confidence by again raising 2017FY AEPS guidance this time by about $0.05
Waiting on PD for 2018 GRC; FD unlikely in 2017
Strong execution, strategic evolution and focus on core strengths makes for attractive investment
Strategically, we like focus on utility projects with minimal distractions
Renewable integration’s challenging but no big surprises, yet.
Dividend payout ratio has caught up to earnings power of SCE logging-in at some 51%
LT investments should drive LT AEPS CAGR above 7%-9% forecast range, in our opinion

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SRE 3Q2017: New Strategy Takes Shape with Oncor; New Projects Increase NIV

We look for SRE to increase acquisition and investments activities in TX/Gulf-Coast areas. Other than generation, R&M nothing seems prohibited, especially if it has Mexico component
Guiding towards upperend of $5-$5.30/share 2017 AEPS guidance
2020 AEPS guidance of $7.20-$7.80 seems low – only some 12% CAGR from 2016A AEPS. SRE is expected to grow dividends 8%-9% to match
2018 GRC filed 10/2017 w/FD expected late-2018/early-2019
We look for outperformance with regards to SRE’s guidance in ST, MT and LT
Within next 12-months we look for Cameron 4&5 to get FID and begin construction
NIV/share moves up to $230/share from $210/share on 2017 performance and additions of new capital projects

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PNM 3Q2017: PNM beat but keeping guidance unchanged; this is overly conservative

Keeping guidance implies 4Q17 would be no more than $0.20, which we feel is too low
PNM accounts for low 4Q17 guidance due to higher donations to PNM’s Foundation and higher costs
New guidance for CAGR in AEPS to 2021 of 6%, but dividend CAGR likely higher. We estimate CAGR in AEPS thru 2021 at some 7.7%.
Lowering our 2018E AEPS due to 2016 rate case
We see upside driven mostly by better economic performance
PNM’s future depends on regulatory matters, in our opinion
Total capex estimate is some $3,254MM (some $1,557MM of depreciation) for 2017-2021
PNM may need to issue equity to fund its capex program using the at-the-market structure beyond 2019
Guidance meeting December 8, 2017 at New York Stock Exchange

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Summary and analysis of the 187 page DOE report titled “Staff Report to the Secretary on Electricity Markets and Reliability” dated August 2017 and summary and analysis of the 6 page PJM report titled “Energy Price Formation and Valuing Flexibility” dated June 15, 2017

DOE report titled “Staff Report to the Secretary on Electricity Markets and Reliability” dated August 2017, and
Summary of the 6 page PJM report titled “Energy Price Formation and Valuing Flexibility” dated June 15, 2017

Following are some of the highlights:

Changing circumstances are challenging current reliability:
Energy efficiency is done:
Retired plants were mostly baseload-type plants:
Grid operators must place and are placing increasing premium on flexible resources
More focus on resiliency is needed:
Current wholesale pricing inadequate for modern grid:
Cooperation between power and pipeline sectors is becoming crucial to reliability and resiliency, especially in winter,
Four issues that threaten grid reliability due to forced early retirements:

Our conclusion: While we believe that the DOE Report is critical to understanding the evolving electricity market, we believe that there are a number of issues that may be challenged:

Natural gas isn’t the main culprit for plant closures, in our opinion
Market forces are enough:
While DOE is concerned about natural gas price spikes, we’re not:
Decoupling of economic output and power demand is not solely a function of efficiency, in our opinion:

We were disappointed by the fact that the DOE did not incorporate analysis from potential accelerated economic activity, which we expect that we believe will accelerate demand

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As expected, the EPA repealed the Clean Power Plan (CPP); asks industry to help write a new regulation

CPP repealed: As expected, the Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mr. Scott Pruitt, repealed the Obama-era CPP regulation aimed at forcing generators to reduce CO2 emissions by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030
CPP was like forcing car manufacturers to pay Tesla: The only way to achieve the CPP objective would have been for coal-fired generators to buy Renewable Energy Credits (REC) to offset CO2 emissions from its own plants, which is tantamount to subsidizing competitors’ generation

This would be equivalent to car manufacturers paying Tesla $X/car for every non-electric car that they sell to the consumers

EPA asks the industry for help in writing new regulations but what could be recommended? This was not expected. Regardless, we would expect that any proposed recommendations would involve inside-the-fence solutions
Conclusion: We are not surprised at the repeal of CPP; however, we are somewhat puzzled by the EPA’s request of the power industry to help it write new regulations regarding CO2.

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BKH Future Bright; Capex Spending Accelerating; E&P Decision Coming

BKH’s main message is that it is now virtually a pure play (95%+) customer-focused growth utility
BKH is focused on LT decision-making and annual total shareholder return vs. LT growth targets
Forward-looking strategic execution:
Deliver top-quartile LT shareholder return:
Currently in the midst of transition earnings and growth drivers:
LT: Near-term priorities transitioning to strong customer-focused investment program
Capital spending likely to be more than double DD&A (1st D is for depletion)
Additional upside from large projects such as gas pipelines and generation
Targeting LT EPS CAGR in the top quartile of utility industry, which was estimated at 7%
Accelerating capital spending moving forward with significant upside opportunities from generation and pipeline investment

Our conclusion: We believe that BKH is on solid footing and has established a base from which to launch the next acquisition (preference is for electric utility that needs generation investments, but opportunistic), but unlikely for next 12-18 months while focused on repaying debt, continued investment in SG and capital spending program. We look for BKH to sell its remaining oil and gas assets (mostly Mancos Shale play) to fund next acquisition. Utility-focus is laudable. Upside to our ST-Target is visible but meaningless depending on oil & gas decision and outcome, in our opinion.

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SRE: Details on financing given; Oncor deal looks to remain on track for 1H18 close

Expected 2018E AEPS accretion of $0.15-$0.25/share, which is in line with our expectations (please see the first Table 1 below)
SRE intends to own 100% of Energy Future Holdings (If realized SRE would own approximately 80% of Oncor and TTI would own the balance of 20%) after $3.0B debt at the holding company is paid-off, which we expect to occur within 7 years
Equity issue of some 50%-65% of SRE’s equity commitment, which is about $3.87B (60% of $6.45B)

Balance of the equity commitment is going to come from a combination of cash and debt, likely more debt in our opinion, given the plethora of projects that SRE needs to fund
Still searching for 40% equity commitment for transaction or about $2.58B of third-party equity investment: Looking for long-term strategic partner with about a 7 year investment horizon
Based on $7.5B five-year investment program at Oncor, SRE expects CAGR in net income to be some 6%-7% through 2022
SRE states 100% valuation for Oncor based on $18.8B EV
Deal expected to close in 1H2018

Conclusion: The more we study and hear about this deal, the more we like it.

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