2016 Mass Investor Conference (Part 3): the MWRA

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) was created by the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority Act, Chapter 372 of the Acts of 1984 of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Its operating territory covers 61 communities (i.e. cities, towns and special purpose entities) in eastern and central Massachusetts.  Within that territory, it serves 5,500 industrial businesses and 2.5 million people, more than 40% of total population of Massachusetts.  51 communities receive the Authority’s water service; while 43 communities connect their local sewer systems to the Authority’s regional sewer collectors and treatment facilities.  The MWRA supplies 215 million gallons of water and treats 315 million gallons of sewage per day. Continue reading

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2016 Mass Investor Conference (Part 2): the MBTA

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA or the Authority) is a body politic and corporate and a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  It is also a component of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.  Created in 1964, it is the oldest and fifth largest transit system in the country.  Its authority is derived from Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 161A (as restated by Section 151 of Chapter 127 of the Acts of 1999 and amended by the Control Board Act, Chapter 46 of the Acts of 2015) and also Section 35T of Chapter 10, which together are known as the “Enabling Act.”  The Enabling Act does not provide for the Authority to be a debtor under the federal bankruptcy code. Continue reading

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Peabody Puts Its Bankruptcy Plan to a Vote (Part 3)

Other Thoughts on the Plan.  In a bankruptcy, a debtor-in-possession serves as a fiduciary for the creditors and interests.  The court oversees the case to ensure that the debtor fulfills its obligations.  Yet, both the debtor and the court cannot ignore the practical aspects of achieving a consensus and moving expeditiously to address the company’s financial problems in order to facilitate its exit from bankruptcy. Continue reading

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Peabody Puts Its Bankruptcy Plan to a Vote (Part 2)

Under Peabody’s bankruptcy plan a simplified summary of the classes, amount and treatment of claims and interests is given in the table below: Continue reading

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Peabody Puts Its Bankruptcy Plan to a Vote (Part 1)

On January 27, 2017, the bankruptcy court approved Peabody’s bankruptcy plan and disclosure statement.  By now, these documents have been distributed to creditors who are eligible to vote on the plan.  The voting deadline is March 3.  Objections to the plan must be received by the court by March 9.  The confirmation hearing is scheduled for March 16.  If the plan is confirmed, Peabody will likely emerge from bankruptcy in early April. Continue reading

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Lack of Comprehensive Energy Policy May Prove Costly to U.S.

Last week, I attended the annual presentation of the American Gas Association (AGA) to the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA). The AGA represents companies that deliver natural gas to residential, commercial and industrial customers across the U.S. The presentation coincided with the news, as reported in the New York Times and elsewhere, that the Earth had its hottest year on record in 2016 for the third consecutive year. Since natural gas is perceived to be part of the solution to global warming, it makes sense to take stock of industry trends as presented by the AGA. Continue reading

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2017 Housing Market Outlook

Housing market activity has strengthened in recent months.  This has raised the hope of another leg up in the recovery.  Yet, investors are still skeptical about the industry’s future prospects. Continue reading

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KBH Looks to Extend Gains in 2017

KB Home (KBH) was the sixth largest builder in the U.S. in 2016, according to Builder Magazine.  The company operates in four regions, nine states and 39 metropolitan markets.  It generates most of its sales in California, with operations in 16 local markets, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and the Inland Empire.  Outside of California, it has a significant presence in Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, Denver, five cities in Texas and ten metro markets in Florida.  It offers houses in all price points, but it has traditionally focused on first-time and first-move-up buyers. Continue reading

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Notes and Analysis from the 2016 Mass. Investor Conference – Part 1

The Conference was held on December 7, 2016. Continue reading

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Update on Consolidated Water (CWCO)

Shares of Consolidated Water (CWCO) have struggled over the past several months, extending a period of underperformance vs. peers that stretches back for more than a year. Year-to-date (through 12/9), CWCO has posted a loss (including dividends) of 6.4%. That compares with the total return of 12.9% for the S&P 500 and an estimated total return of 18.0% on the Dow Jones U.S. Water Utility Index. Continue reading

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