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Why Electric Utility Stocks Are Sensitive to Interest Rates

  • O'Neal, Edward S
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    The determinants of electric utility stock interest rate sensitivity are examined. The bond rating of a utility's debt has a strong influence on its equity sensitivity to interest rates. The common stock of highly rated utilities is more interest rate sensitive than that of lower rated utilities. This finding is consistent with investors valuing utility stocks as predominantly income-oriented securities. Once the rating of the debt is controlled for, the debt-level of the utility is positively correlated with interest rate sensitivity. Additionally, larger utilities are found to be more interest rate sensitive than smaller utilities. Evidence is also presented that a utility's proportion of maturing long-term debt influences interest rate sensitivity. A measure for regulatory lag is developed but appears to have no effect on interest rate sensitivity. Copyright 1998 by MIT Press.

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    Article provided by Eastern Finance Association in its journal The Financial Review.

    Volume (Year): 33 (1998)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 147-61

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:finrev:v:33:y:1998:i:1:p:147-61
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