Losses Continue In The Electricity Industry

CMS Energy won’t issue dividends in 2003 in an attempt to improve its liquidity, American Electric Power declared a 4th quarter loss and will cut jobs and investment, and these developments led other utility stocks lower this morning.

This is the continuing fallout from the collapse of the energy trading sector of the industry, and hopefully we’re on the home track toward being done with the fallout. But what remains to be seen is where the energy trading business model will head this year. Regulatory innovation and change that encourages competition and choice, at both the federal and state levels, will be a key component of unleashing the value potential in energy trading. But that’s a slow, evolutionary process.