Shares in the UK's biggest coal-fired power station, Drax (LSE: DRX), tumbled by 13% last week. They had been quite popular up until then.
Investors seemed to like the company's plans to convert three of its six power generating units from burning coal to biomass products, such as wood pellets. With lots of old coal power stations closing soon, Drax is well placed to make more money as Britain's generating capacity becomes scarcer.
It was assumed that these three units would all qualify for a subsidy that would guarantee them a selling price of £105 per megawatt hour under an agreement known as a contract for difference (CFD).
Subscribe to MoneyWeek
Subscribe to MoneyWeek today and get your first six magazine issues absolutely FREE
CFDs work by topping up the amount ofmoney received by Drax if the market price of electricity wasless than £105 and Drax repaying money if the price was morethan £105, effectively underwriting the value of its proposedbiomass investment.
But the government said last week thatone of the units didn't qualify for the CFD subsidy, so Drax'sshares have lost some of their popularity.
Despite the sharp fall,however, Drax shares do not look cheap, trading on over twentytimes this year's earnings. Profits may still go up a lot, whichwill mean bigger dividends, but this still looks priced in to theshares. Now is not the time to jump on board.
Phil spent 13 years as an investment analyst for both stockbroking and fund management companies.
After graduating with a MSc in International Banking, Economics & Finance from Liverpool Business School in 1996, Phil went to work for BWD Rensburg, a Liverpool based investment manager. In 2001, he joined ABN AMRO as a transport analyst. After a brief spell as a food retail analyst, he spent five years with ABN's very successful UK Smaller Companies team where he covered engineering, transport and support services stocks.
In 2007, Phil joined Halbis Capital Management as a European equities analyst. He began writing for Moneyweek in 2010.
Follow Phil on Google+.
Waspi women: could they get £10,000 compensation under new bill?
Many women born in the 1950s got a raw deal due to the rising state pension age. The “Waspi” campaign group has been lobbying for compensation for years - we outline the journey so far, and whether they might finally receive some money.
By Ruth Emery Published
High-street banks continue to offer poor savings rates – is your cash better off with a smaller provider?
Despite numerous warnings by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), savers are still being ripped off with low returns on high-street bank savings accounts. How much can your cash earn in a small bank?
By Vaishali Varu Published