President Obama is no friend of coal. In fact, one of his latest proposals, a cap-and-trade plan to reduce carbon emissions, hits hard those who deal in the commodity. As a result, once-reliable utility companies could buckle under the increased fees.
But not every utility will get hurt. Some, like Dominion Resources , generate energy in less carbon-intensive ways, such as through wind, solar or nuclear plants. Chairman, President and CEO Tom Farrell told Cramer on Wednesday that his company’s in good position to weather any changes Obama makes to the business.
Dominion sits in the bottom third of the industry in terms of carbon intensity, Farrell said. The company recently completed a wind farm in West Virginia, the largest east of the Mississippi, and another in Indiana. Dominion also operates the largest biomass plant in the U.S., and is building a hybrid coal-biomass plant in Virginia. In addition, Farrell plans to expand his gas fleet in that state and his nuclear fleet overall. Then there’s the trillion cubic feet of natural gas the company has, an accompanying pipeline network and a big liquefied natural gas importation facility.
“So we think we’re very well balanced to come out at a minimum neutral and perhaps positive,” Farrell said, “in a more regulated atmosphere.”
The CEO also shrugged off concerns about Dominion’s balance sheet. Many utilities have been struggling for financing lately, but Farrell said his firm’s credit ratings are solid and that he’s “never had difficulty” rolling over his credit paper on a daily basis. While he admitted that debt is more expensive right now, Dominion still has access to cash. The company sold over $1 billion in bonds at the end of 2008.
Cramer is bullish on Dominion Resources and its 5.8% dividend yield, calling the stock “Obama-resistant.” He also likes that company insiders have been snatching up shares recently. That usually means that management expects the stock to go higher.
If they’re buying, Cramer said, “I’m buying.”
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