Utility Stock Powers Down Amid Relocation Buzz

PG&E is moving to Oakland from San Francisco

Assistant Editor
Jun 9, 2020 at 11:03 AM
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After over 100 years in San Francisco, CA, PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG) is moving to Oakland, CA to cut costs. The utility company is hoping to emerge from the bankruptcy filing it entered over a year ago, amid massive liabilities from deadly wildfires in 2017 and 2018. In addition, Mizuho raised its price target to $14.50 from $13.50. Despite the bull note, today's broader market downturn, plus yesterday's news that the company was planning equity raises to fund its bankruptcy exit, have PCG down 5.6% at $11.85. 

A steady riser on the charts since a mid-March foray into the $7 area, PG&E stock is still hanging on to its 10% year-to-date level. If you're looking for an additional explainer to today's pullback, the security's 14-Day Relative Strength Index (RSI) closed yesterday at 63-- on the cusp of overbought territory -- indicating a short-term breather was already in the cards. Nevertheless, today's dip appears to have been caught by the shares' 20-day moving average, which has served as close support in the last month. Longer term, PCG remains down 39% in the last 12 months. 

Analysts are split on PCG, with four out of eight analysts sporting a "strong buy," and the other four sitting with a tepid "hold." Meanwhile, the 12-month consensus target price of $14.06 is a 19.8% premium to current levels. 

The options pits are looking more bullish, however, with 4.64 calls bought for every put in the last 10 days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). This ratio sits higher than 82% of readings from the past year, indicating that such a preference for calls is rare in the past 12 months.

Also worth noting is PCG's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 81%, which stands higher than all but 7% of readings in its annual range. This implies that options players are pricing in relatively low volatility expectations at the moment, a potential boon for premium buyers.

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