I am not sure who Mr. Smith is but I was a bit suprised by some of the information printed in that article.First, Dominion actually got GOOD marks for its handling of the Isabel crisis, not bad marks as the above article suggests. I live in Dominion's service area and they are my electric provider. Dominion made arrangement to have hundreds of repair come in from neighboring utilities before the storm struck. Far and away more then any of the other utilities affected by the hurricane. http://www.dom.com/news/elec2003/pr0916.jspCertainly many folks were without power for a long time but unlike PECO and Constellation, Dominion pre-stock supplies and equipment they expected to need to effectuate repairs. However, due to having something like 1.8 out of 2.2 million customers without power, a number so high -82% - no one expected, Dominion was not able to return everyone as quick as folks would have liked.http://www.dom.com/news/elec2003/pr0919.jspSecond and much more importantly, Dominion HAS provided guidance for 2004. "Management expects a sharp improvement in 2004,maintaining guidance of $4.80 to $5 a share." This information came from Roger Conrad's weekly news update. Conrad is the Editor of Utility Forecaster and one of the foremost authorities on Utilities. Given his is the only newsletter devoted to Utilities, I doubt he would make it up. So he must have gotten this guidance from the Company.Conrad's take is that Dominion is one of the best Utilities around as both a utility and as an investments. Their core utility service area in both gas and electric, coupled with their merchant power division which has a large presence in the nuclear power plant field. Dominion has bought a number of Nuclear Plants at rock bottom prices ensuring a nice profit even in these "glut" times. Dominion is also the owner of one of the largest proven reserves of natural gas, which is a nice profit producer with prices high [not anywhere near record highs]. Dominion also has a large pipeline, gathering and storage business, these are also nice profit makers. Finally D, own one of only four active LNG terminals in the country. Given the importance LNG will likely have in the years to come, this is a good thing to possess. All in all this was not a wonderful job of reporting. All it did was send an unwarranted negative message on a good company to folks who are investors.
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