Last month, Barron's published a sensationalist article warning of a looming death spiral for US electric utilities and traditional power generators. Although stretched valuations may mean that utility stocks are overdue for a pullback in the near term, the sector's future prospects remain undiminished.
The proposed combination of SolarCity and Tesla Motors amounts to little more than a bailout of the fatally flawed renewable-energy company that loses more money with each incremental sale. Investors looking for exposure to clean energy should stay away.
SolarCity Corp continues to lose more money with each incremental sale. Meanwhile, electric utilities can leverage their low cost of capital, existing customer relationships and ability to recover capital expenditures in rate base to spur adoption of renewable energy.
We highlight some of the key investment themes that stood out after three days of presentations and talking to management teams at the Edison Electric Institute's annual financial conference, one of the premier events for utility analysts and industry insiders.
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