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The Latest On PG&E, Down 20% Since California Wildfires Began

The Latest On PG&E, Down 20% Since California Wildfires Began
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PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG) shares remain under selling pressure Wednesday as the public utility continues to face scrutiny for its alleged role in California wildfires that have claimed at least 41 lives and destroyed thousands of businesses.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s stock has lost nearly 20 percent since Oct. 11, when California officials confirmed an investigation into whether the utility's power lines played a role in igniting the fires. The total financial damage to the company, if found liable, could exceed $12 billion, SF Gate reported.

State Sen. Jerry Hill said he'll try to break up the utility or ban it from doing business in California if it's found negligible in the fire, the report said. 

"They've crossed the line too many times," Hill reportedly said. "They need to be dissolved in some way, split."

Not New To Penalties

Investors may have legitimate reason to be concerned about the wildfire. PG&E was found responsible for playing a role in a 70,000-acre fire in 2015 and the utility's liability could total more than $1 billion, The Sacramento Bee reported.

PG&E was also hit with $1.6 billion in fines and other costs connected with the 2010 San Bruno gas explosion, which almost resulted in the company declaring bankruptcy.

The investigation into the Wine Country fires could take months to complete. In the meantime, some Wall Street analysts aren't waiting for the conclusion of an investigation, including Goldman Sachs' Michael Lapides, who removed the stock from the firm's "Americas Conviction Buy List" on Monday, although Goldman Sachs did maintain a Buy on PG&E. 

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Latest Ratings for PCG

Feb 2018JP MorganMaintainsOverweightOverweight
Feb 2018Wells FargoMaintainsMarket PerformMarket Perform
Feb 2018UBSInitiates Coverage OnNeutral

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Posted-In: California California Fire Jerry Hill UtilitiesAnalyst Color News Analyst Ratings Media Best of Benzinga


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