Dec 3, 2008

How Deep Can You Dig?

In yesterday's post, I indicated that one of our nuclear units would be shut down through at least September 2009. I learned today, that the announcement was made at the end of the day on Monday, after the Stock Market had closed for the day. The length of the shutdown (one year plus), and the potential costs ($330M plus) are considered material statements, and if the announcement was made while the market was open, the SEC would have suspended trading of our stock.

As evidence of these material statements, our stock closed down more than 4% yesterday (after dipping down more than 6% during the day) even though the market was up more than 2%, and our peer utilities had slight gains. So today, our investor relations group was again in New York to explain what the numbers mean, how much of the costs will be covered by insurance and rates, and that there is expected to be little impact to our 2009 earnings.

It is a reminder that in these difficult economic times, what and how things are reported can have a significant impact on the finances of companies. Its not just about electricity and what customers pay. It is also about one of the largest utility companies in the nation, that employs more than 20,000 people. It is also about investors, about the value of the company and the ability to raise capital to make infrastructure improvements, which in turn helps support the economy.

As Beth indicated in an e-mail to me today, we tend to think in terms of immediate impacts such as work schedules and such, but the true impact is much wider and affects many people. So as we experience the roller coaster ride of the current economy, try to not only focus on your immediate impacts, but give thought to the downstream impacts. It may be a neighbor that works for a supplier to your company, it may be a grandmother that has her savings in investments that are under performing, it may be a friend or family member that lost a job.

Try to dig as deep as you can to support your local food bank, Toys For Tots, and local charities during this difficult time and holiday season.


  1. I think that what has been an eye-opener for me with our troubled economy is realizing how interconnected everything is, as well as realizing that it's going to take everyone helping each other.


  2. Hi Bucko,
    It just goes to show how tenuous everything is these days ... it doesn't take much to send a company's stock into a nosedive. Let's hope things stabilize soon.

  3. Hi, Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment about the photographs. I've been watching how one company is intertwined with others - directly and indirectly. Or in other words the domino effect. I'm going to have to dig deep to contribute to the food bank and that might have to be the extent of my giving this year. It's already been agreed with the immediate family that we wouldn't exchange gifts, we want to pull our money together and go visit my son and his children in April. I know many who gave to several charities are having to select one to give to instead of all as they had in the past. Okay, that's enough of my gibbering.


  4. My knitting group, we knit for charity, has over 25 blankets, hand-knitted, to distribute to the Veteran's Hospital this holiday season. Gifts come in many forms.

  5. Everytime I go out to shop I do something for others. I think my favorite charity this year is the toys for teens that Best Buy is contributing to. I give a lot there.

  6. Ken, I have seen the impact on business by how things are reported and especially in the squeezing this way and that of graphs. Attempts to show economic, or any other, conditions by graphic means can be misleading if the graphs aren't realistically done. The same figures can be shown to look horrendous or unimportant depending on how they are displayed.

  7. After hearing on the news yesterday that babies are suffering from water poisoning because their parents are watering down formula to save money, I bought a bunch of baby formula today to give to our local food bank. Frankly, I never even realized that babies from birth to about 8 months shouldn't have any extra water in their diets. And how sad that parents have to dillute their formula because they can't afford the full-strength stuff. Thanks for reminding us all to give, give, give this year. There are so many in need!

  8. Thanks for the thoughtful reminder about helping others this time of year! My sister and I give a bicycle to the Salvation Army's toy drive in memory of our dad. Feels so good to know a little kid is going to have a wish fulfilled!

    I love your walking avatar! Very cool.


  9. Ken
    I am new to your blog,And will stop by your wifes' blog as well.Stop by and pay me a visit when you get a chance.We here inb Modesto Calif are feeling the slumo were in.Our foreclosures and job losses are at a all time high.

  10. Many, many areas of the economy are being affected by what is going on sadly. Cindy being one of too on a different scale. It's a madhouse out there but it will get better! (but you know that already lol). Blessings* Teresa

  11. So many charities and organizations are suffering this year. Every year my husband and I "adopt" a family and buy them food & gifts for Christmas. This year was the largest listing I had ever seen, we must have had 50 families to choose from.

    Sadly the animal shelters are filling up with folks who can no longer afford their pets. I've been getting calls to see if I can take anymore in, including three calls about horses.

    Nice post Ken.

  12. Hey, thanks for that post. We are one of the families that had to rely on food pantries and organizations this fall..


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