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PG&E Trims Budget for Buying Back Stock

The utility owner says less cash will be available because of decisions by state regulators.

October 16, 2003|From Bloomberg News

PG&E Corp., California's biggest utility owner, said Wednesday that annual cash for share repurchases beginning in 2005 will be as much as $50 million less than projected under the revised bankruptcy plan for its utility unit, Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

About $259.8 million, or 15% less than proposed in July, will be available for stock buybacks, partly because of decisions by the state Public Utilities Commission, San Francisco-based PG&E said in a regulatory filing.

The commission last month ordered $444 million in refunds to customers, PG&E said. Regulators agreed in June to a compromise plan to bring the utility out of bankruptcy early next year. The agreement, which won support from 97% of creditors, needs U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval.

It calls for the use of bond sales, customer payments and reserves to pay creditors owed $13 billion and the resumption of dividend payments by late 2005.

Shares of PG&E fell 40 cents to $24.01 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has more than doubled in the last year.

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