This Week in Utilities: Subsidiary Sales and Rate Requests

Earnings announcements aside, it's been a busy week for utilities. From natural gas and transmission sales to rate increase to cover increasing costs, these dividend stocks are making moves to make the most of your money. Here's what you need to know.

Subsidiary switch-up
AGL Resources
 announced Thursday that it has officially handed off subsidiary Compass Energy Services to Integrys Energy (NYSE: TEG  ) for an initial cash consideration of $12 million, with an additional $3 million to $8 million cash consideration. If the unregulated natural gas subsidiary fares well over the next five years, Integrys will fork over more finances for its purchase. If not, AGL could be left with $15 million total for the sale. For now, AGL will record a $9 million to $11 million pre-tax gain for Q2 2013.

AGL and Integrys aren't the only utilities switching around subsidiaries. Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK  ) completed its purchase of a 72% stake in Atlantic Power's (NYSE: AT  ) Path 15 transmission project. The 84-mile line connects Northern and Southern California's transmission grids and, according to Duke, plays "a key role in maintaining statewide electric system reliability and market efficiency."

PG&E lays claim to an 18% stake for its ownership and operation of connecting substations, while Western Area Power Administration gets a 10% piece for its continued ownership and operation of the line itself. The announcement did not disclose any financial details of the transaction.

Raising rates
Dominion
(NYSE: D  ) requested a fuel rate increase for its Virginia operations, citing higher fuel costs and increased demand as primary reasons for its ask. Its first request in two years, a fuel rate increase is meant to cover costs, but not increase profits. The total ask reflects a 2.1% increase in the average customer's monthly bill, considerably less than TECO Energy's (NYSE: TE  ) 10% ask in April. According to Dominion and TECO, both their requests keep their customers' bills below national averages. If Virginia's regulatory body approves the request, Dominion's new rates will rise in July.

Stay current on electricity
The world of utilities is changing fast, and dividend stocks aren't the stable stalwarts they once were. Be sure to check back weekly for the latest on your portfolio's moves, and you'll be well on your way to electrifying earnings.

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