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Utilities Give Back Some Gains on Rate Hedging -- Utilities Roundup

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03/20/2017 | 09:45pm CET

Shares of power-plant operators gave back some of last week's gains as traders hedged their bets on the outlook for interest rates. Despite the Trump administration's commitment to supporting the coal industry, utilities that operate on natural gas should continue to command a premium on the stock market, according to one brokerage. "Gas utilities deserve their valuation premium to electric utilities, given: 1) higher near-term growth on average; 2) accelerated capital recovery mechanisms; 3) structural industry trends supportive of long-term growth; 4) fewer long-term business risks; 5) Potential benefits from federal regulation and tax reform; and 6) merger-and-acquisition potential," said analysts at brokerage Morgan Stanley, in a research note.

-Rob Curran, rob.curran@dowjones.com

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