From Scott Carlberg

“High levels of corporate debt are suddenly a whole lot more worrisome than they were just a couple of months ago.” That is the lead sentence from a recent Wall Street Journal column called, Time to Worry About Corporate Debt Again.

That is spooky, which is why we chose Halloween to revisit several blogs about the debt of Santee Cooper. But Halloween can be fun. Debt isn’t fun, though.

Stock markets look at new highs, interest rates are comparatively low, and the economy has chugged along. All those can mask the challenges that can lie ahead for resource-restricted organizations.

Some 13% of companies may be zombies. (Source) Zombie. A word reserved for Halloween no more. Zombies have hit Corporate America. Defining a zombie company depends on which finance person is asked. Here’s a Fortune magazine version: “Those firms which are not even able to cover their debt-servicing costs with current earnings.” Definitions can get involved. […]

Are some public power and water utilities starved for cash or challenged by the depth of resources needed for the future? The question is a natural as the list of companies is revealed to possibly purchase JEA, the Jacksonville, Florida, government-owned water and power utility. The CEO of JEA set the stage well: “In today’s […]

Intense is a good word for the electric utility business. Capital intense to be specific. Capital flexibility is another and may be even a better way to look at corporate financial health and the ability to serve utility customers. Capital intensive industries require heavy investment in fixed assets simply to compete, to measure up, to serve […]

Santee Cooper. It has been the debt. It still is the debt. Customers continue to be on the hook.  Santee Cooper’s business forecast lacks action. The recently released Santee Cooper business forecast released September 9 said, in part: “The Forecast also contemplates (our italics) several strategic financial transactions and cost saving initiatives including: Committing over […]

When you dig yourself into a deep hole, stop digging. ECC has said that before about Santee Cooper, its debt, the negative news, the ongoing odd decisions. It’s customer money out the door, and money that will have to go out the door in the future. It is more than $7 billion in debt for […]