National Grid

National Grid and Electric Cars

National Grid (NG.) have published a paper entitled “Future Energy Scenarios” which spells out the impact of future trends in energy consumption, and by implication how it might affect their business. For example, the forecast demand for electric cars might add 30% to peak electric power demand, thus requiring the equivalent of five Hinkley Point C nuclear plants. Even if people only charge their electric cars in off-peak periods, the additional demand could be very substantial. If you live in London, you ...

It’s Getting More Difficult to Vote

It’s certainly getting more difficult to vote of late, and I am not talking about voting at General Elections but just for resolutions at the General Meetings of companies we own. This seems to be a particular problem with Capita Registrars. Here’s some examples: Whitbread: As a personal crest member, I am on the register and expect to be sent an annual report and proxy voting form (and at least the latter on paper). But no longer it seems. Whitbread only ...

Expensive Dividends – National Grid and Electra Private Equity

National Grid (NG.) are returning some of the cash received from the sale of their stake in a gas distribution business to shareholders via a large special dividend. And some will be returned via market share buy-backs, the wisdom of which may be questionable. But the real concern for private investors is that dividends are taxed as income even though this is in essence a "return of capital". It is not being paid out of operating profits, but simply from the ...

National Grid Share Consolidation – Who Are They Fooling?

Shareholders in National Grid (NG.) will have received a notice of a General Meeting to approve a share consolidation (at least that's those of you on the register of the company, others in nominee accounts may be surprised later by the change in their holding). This proposal is linked to the return of cash to shareholders following the sale of the company's interest in a gas distribution business. There will be a large "special" dividend as a result - more on the ...

The Unacceptable Face of Capitalism – BHS and National Grid

The extraction by Sir Philip Green of £300m from BHS, which led to the business going into decline and leaving the company pension scheme under-funded before he sold it for a £1 to an unqualified chancer was strongly criticised by a select committee of the House of Commons yesterday. To quote from their report: "The tragedy is that those who have lost out are the ordinary employees and pensioners. This is the unacceptable face of capitalism". This echoes the comments of Ted ...

National Grid AGM, Rensburg AIM VCT and Stocktrade

I attended the National Grid Annual General Meeting in Birmingham yesterday. Unfortunately I was not allowed to ask a question as the organisation that I was representing as a proxy put my son's name on it rather than mine so I was only allowed in as a "guest". I will do a fuller report on the event for the ShareSoc Members' Network later today, but it was not a particularly exciting event this year. Not a single shareholder complained about the ...

Who are the Election Winners and Losers?

Who are the General Election winners and losers? Well most investors have benefited because the market as a whole has risen today after the election results gave the Conservatives an unexpected victory. Specific sectors that benefited were house builders and utility companies. House builders were generally up at the time of writing this note, with Berkeley Group in particular up 10% - no doubt investors being relieved there would be no mansion tax affecting expensive properties in London.  Utility companies were ...

National Grid and the Problem of High Pay

I attended the Annual General Meeting of National Grid this week (on the 28th July). It was a typical FTSE-100 company AGM with questions on all kinds of matters, mainly from private shareholders of course. There is a full report on the meeting on the ShareSoc Members Network, where many other AGM reports are supplied for members. I tackled the issue of high remuneration at this company and the change in the LTIP with a couple of questions, and I expected there ...