PCG Stock Set to Snap Losing Streak Amid Bankruptcy Bailout Buzz

The utility provider is still pacing for its worst month ever

Deputy Editor
Nov 16, 2018 at 11:51 AM
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PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG) stock is on pace to snap a six-day slide to 15-year lows, that as of last night's close, had the equity down 64% from its Nov. 7 close. At last check, PCG was up 40.6% to trade at $25.02, after a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) official eased concerns about a PG&E bankruptcy stemming from its role in the deadly Camp and Woosley wildfires ravaging California. 

PG&E is no stranger to dips; the equity lost roughly 40% from its October 2017 high to its December 2017 low. However, even with today's rebound, the stock is still down more than 45% so far this month -- on pace for its worst month on record. For the week, PCG has shed nearly 39%, set for its steepest one-week slide since April 2001.

In light of today's CPUC comments, Citigroup upgraded PCG to "buy" from "neutral." Still, the brokerage firm cut its price target to $40 from $48. On the other hand, Morgan Stanley this morning downgraded the stock  to "overweight" from "equal-weight," and slashed its price target by more than half, to $31 from $67. Sentiment remains divided, however, with half of 12 analysts still calling it a "buy" or better. 

The stock's sell-off has sparked unusually bearish options trading. PCG's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 0.66 on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) is in the 87th percentile of its annual range. This indicates that while purchased PCG calls have outnumbered puts on an absolute basis, speculators have shown a healthier-than-usual appetite for bearish bets during the past two weeks.


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