PG&E plummets after bankruptcy talk stirs concern, suspicion

A PG&E truck carrying an American Flag drives past PG&E repair trucks in Paradise

A PG&E truck carrying an American Flag drives past PG&E repair trucks in Paradise California

"We recognize the need to balance the interests of many stakeholders while maintaining safe, reliable, and affordable services for our customers, which is always our top priority".

PG&E shares have plunged almost 50% since November 8, when the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history broke out.

S&P Global Ratings on Monday stripped PG&E Corp of its investment-grade credit rating, citing indications of a significant deterioration in the political and regulatory environment for the California power utility.

The utility, California's largest, is contending with potentially crippling liability costs related to California's Camp Fire.

California lawmakers have passed a law that would protect the company from the 2017 fire and fires in 2019 and after but not the 2018 fire.

" Legislation is the way forward as it will allow to keep the utility alive and mitigate any negative impact one can get from the bankruptcy", Pourreza said.

Despite the news, UBS analyst Daniel Ford raised his price target from $26 to $29, saying it assumes PG&E is "not liable for Tubbs and reflects a higher $15.1B net liability ($11.3B prior) for 2017 and 2018 due to the Camp fire but a lower cost of funding (7.5% versus 9.0% WACC)". "You can't trust what they say". But they added that "exploitive tactics and a reticence toward change will not improve" the company's profile.

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"The board is actively assessing PG&E's operations, finances, management, structure, and governance", the company said.

Allstate Insurance, State Farm, and USAA have each filed lawsuits against Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E).

"We want to tap fresh perspectives and additional expertise to help address the changing nature of PG&E's business and the challenges it faces now and in the future", the board said in a statement.

A bankruptcy filing is not PG&E's preference for addressing liabilities from the catastrophic blazes, some of the sources said.

PG&E could wait to see how things play out in California, or it could opt for a bankruptcy proceeding that would prove more predictable and free the company from the mercy of state policy makers, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Kit Konolige said.

"Breaking it up or the state running the company, those are all incredibly complicated proposals that just have no indication that they would be successful, certainly not anytime soon", he said.

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