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Wells Fargo Turns Bullish On Exelon, Cites Legislative Tailwinds For Nuclear Energy

April 2, 2019 9:44 am
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Policymakers have continued to undertake legislative initiatives that support nuclear power. This is especially the case in Illinois, where 60 percent of the nuclear capacity of Exelon Corporation’s (NYSE:EXC) ExGen subsidiary is located, according to Wells Fargo.

The Analyst

Wells Fargo’s Neil Kalton upgraded Exelon Corporation from Market Perform to Outperform and raised the price target from $50 to $57.

The Thesis

Illinois has proposed clean energy legislation that establishes a supportive framework for nuclear power. This creates greater investor confidence around the long-term economic viability of ExGen’s nuclear generation in the state, Kalton said in a Tuesday note. 

The bills, which include the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) and Clean Energy Progress Act, seem to have support from the Democratic Party, which controls the governor’s office, House and Senate, the analyst said.

The CEJA calls for 100-percent carbon free electricity by 2030 and 100-percent renewable electricity by 2050, Kalton said. 

ExGen’s nuclear fleet “operates through the end of the units’ various license extension periods (2029-2049),” he said. 

Tuesday's upgrade reflects potential nuclear policy-related upside, the analyst said.

Wells Fargo revised its 2020-2022 EPS estimates for Exelon from $3.10 to $3.15, from $3.10 to $3.15 and from $3.25 to $3.20, respectively, while establishing a 2023 EPS estimate of $3.35.

Price Action

Shares of Exelon slipped slightly to close at $50.13 on Monday. The stock was up 0.88 percent at $50.28 at the time of publication Tuesday. 

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Exelon's Byron Nuclear Generating Station in Illinois. Photo by Ben Jacobson/Wikimedia

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