AGL under pressure to explain Vocus takeover

Original article by Lucas Baird, Simon Evans
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 22 : 12-Jun-19

Vocus Group has agreed to allow AGL Energy to commence due diligence after offering $4.85 per share for the telco. AGL investors have responded bearishly to the $3bn bid, with its share price falling 7.2 per cent to $19.40 on 11 June. Sentiment toward AGL was also affected by an earnings downgrade on 7 June, before the stock market closed for a long weekend. Justin Braitling of Watermark Funds Management and James Nevin of RBC Capital Markets have questioned whether Vocus is an appropriate target for AGL.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, VOCUS GROUP LIMITED – ASX VOC, WATERMARK FUNDS MANAGEMENT PTY LTD, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, EQT INFRASTRUCTURE, M2 GROUP LIMITED

The 2018, 8th Annual Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards: Telecommunications and Utilities Winners

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 8-Mar-19

Australia’s most satisfying home phone, mobile phone, internet, and utilities service providers were recently announced at the 2018 Roy Morgan Customer Satisfaction Awards. Optus is the Home Phone Service Provider of the year, with six monthly awards, while Virgin Mobile was named Mobile Phone Service Provider of the year, also with six monthly wins. Meanwhile, iiNet has been named Internet Service Provider for a fourth consecutive year and the Apple iPhone took out the award for Handset Provider for an eighth consecutive year. Red Energy took out the award for Electricity Provider for a fourth successive year, while Kleenheat is the Gas Provider of the year.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, SINGTEL OPTUS PTY LTD, VIRGIN MOBILE (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, IINET LIMITED, APPLE PTY LTD, RED ENERGY PTY LTD, KLEENHEAT GAS PTY LTD

Nearly 1.5 million gas customers and over 2 million electricity customers likely to switch providers

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 18-Feb-19

A Roy Morgan Single Source survey shows that 1.46 million Australians aged +14 who are gas customers say that they will be very or fairly likely to switch providers over the next 12 months. This represents 9.9% of those with gas connected, and is a marginal increase from 9.7% 12 months ago. Some 2.07 million electricity customers (or 10.2%) say they are likely to switch, up from 10.1% a year ago. Only 1.7% of Aurora Energy’s electricity customers say that they would be likely to switch, placing it well below the industry average of 10.2%. Other strong performers that are well below the average are Ergon Energy (2.7%), ActewAGL (3.2%) and Synergy (5.7%). ActewAGL has the lowest proportion of gas customers who are likely to switch, with only 5.1%, well below the market average of 9.9%. They are followed by Elgas (7.6%) and Kleenheat (7.7%). The Single Source survey is based on in-depth personal interviews conducted face-to-face with over 50,000 Australians per annum in their own homes, including over 9,500 gas consumers and over 14,500 with electricity.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, AURORA ENERGY PTY LTD, ERGON ENERGY CORPORATION LIMITED, ACTEWAGL, SYNERGY, ELGAS LIMITED, KLEENHEAT GAS PTY LTD

Origin buoyed by record Australia Pacific LNG sales

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 23 : 1-Feb-19

Origin Energy has advised that its share of revenue from the Australia Pacific LNG project rose by 45 per cent year-on-year in the December quarter, to $740.9m. Origin received net cash distributions of $393 million from the project during the first half of 2018-19, compared with its guidance of $375m-$395m. Meanwhile, Origin’s domestic electricity and gas sales volumes fell by eight per cent and 21 per cent respectively quarter-on-quarter.

CORPORATES
ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, AUSTRALIA PACIFIC LNG LIMITED, JP MORGAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, SHANDONG ORDER GAS COMPANY LIMITED

Electricity customer satisfaction continues to slide

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 29-Oct-18

New research from Roy Morgan shows that 60.9% of Australians were "very" or "fairly" satisfied with their electricity provider in the year to September 2018, compared with 61.7% in the year to September 2017. Simply Energy had the highest customer satisfaction rating, with 67% of customers saying they were "very" or "fairly" satisfied, followed by Red Energy (66%) and Alinta (63%). The three biggest providers, Energy Australia, AGL and Origin, had relatively low satisfaction levels of 60%, 60% and 59% respectively. The latest "Customer Satisfaction – Electricity Providers Report" is based on Roy Morgan’s Single Source survey, which includes in-depth personal interviews conducted face-to-face with over 50,000 Australians per annum in their own homes, including over 14,000 interviews with people who rated their satisfaction with their electricity connection.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED, SIMPLY ENERGY, RED ENERGY PTY LTD, ALINTA ENERGY (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG

AGL defies Coalition over Liddell closure

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith, Ben Potter
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 6 : 27-Sep-18

AGL Energy’s interim CEO Brett Redman has reaffirmed its commitment to exiting coal-fired power generation and its proposed closure of the Liddell power station in 2022. However, Redman has told the company’s AGM that AGL will seek to work with the federal government to reduce electricity prices. Relations between AGL and the government became strained under former CEO Andy Vesey over the closure of Liddell, prompting Energy Minister Angus Taylor to warn of potential intervention if electricity retailers do not take action to reduce prices.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, ENVIRONMENT VICTORIA

Greens call for government energy retailer

Original article by Andrew Tillett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 26-Sep-18

The Australian Greens will propose increased government intervention in the electricity market to put downward pressure on prices, including the creation of a publicly-owned electricity retailer. Greens leader Richard Di Natale estimates that a taxpayer-funded electricity retailer could be established at cost of just $85m, while using it could save consumers around $200 a year on power costs. Di Natale will also advocate greater government intervention in other sectors in a National Press Club speech on 26 September.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN GREENS, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, NATIONAL PRESS CLUB (AUSTRALIA), SNOWY HYDRO LIMITED, RED ENERGY PTY LTD, LUMO ENERGY AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION

Power price fix will leave customers worse off

Original article by Angela Macdonald-Smith
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 2 : 5-Sep-18

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission recommended in July that a default retail power price be introduced. Its proposal, which would see the adoption of a retail price that would be capped by the Australian Energy Regulator, was recently endorsed by the federal government. However, EnergyAustralia CEO Catherine Tanna is understood to have told New South Wales Energy Minister Don Harwin that 70 per cent of its customers would be worse off if the ACCC’s recommendation was adopted.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AUSTRALIAN ENERGY REGULATOR, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, NEW SOUTH WALES. DEPT OF ENERGY, CLP HOLDINGS LIMITED, SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL

ACCC power would be a catastrophe

Original article by Ben Potter
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 22-Aug-18

Danny Price of Frontier Economics has warned that giving the competition regulator the power to break up vertically integrated energy companies would undermine investor confidence in both the sector itself and other industries that could potentially be subject to such regulation. Price adds that consumers would be worse off, as AGL Energy, EnergyAustralia and Origin Energy have accounted for the bulk of investment in new electric power generation capacity over the last decade.

CORPORATES
FRONTIER ECONOMICS PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, ENERGYAUSTRALIA PTY LTD, ORIGIN ENERGY LIMITED – ASX ORG, AUSTRALIA. ENERGY SECURITY BOARD, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, BLOOMBERG NEW ENERGY FINANCE, MELBOURNE BUSINESS SCHOOL, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA, HIGH COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Vesey to stay put as AGL profit surges

Original article by Andrew White
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 10-Aug-18

AGL Energy has posted a 2017-18 net profit of $1.59bn, compared with $539m previously. The electricity generator and retailer’s underlying profit rose by 28 per cent to $1.02bn. AGL has reported revenue of $12.8bn, a modest increase from the previous fiscal year, while shareholders will receive a partially franked final dividend of $0.63 per share. CEO Andy Vesey has refuted suggestions that he may step down, stressing that he will remain at the helm while AGL implements its three-year strategy.

CORPORATES
AGL ENERGY LIMITED – ASX AGL, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY, SANTOS LIMITED – ASX STO, ALINTA ENERGY (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN COMPETITION AND CONSUMER COMMISSION, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG