The total debt, total assets, earnings, and liquidity position all favors CMS. The April 1st results will give much more clarity. I am digging in for a positive out come on April 1st. The Missouri approval of Panhandle sale resolves the Debt problem of CMS. In december Fitch was ready to upgrade CMS debt on the basis of Panhandle sale. Now that is coming to a reality soon. Coupled with earning clarity and under control debt should give this utility the legs to rise....that is my analysis.
They bought Panhandle in 1999 for 2.2 Billion. Selling it for 1.85 or so. Taking a loss. The market cap at 1999 was 10 times higher than today with out Panhandle.
A stabilization of earnings should make CMS a company that institutions will buy into again. And that could happen in April. They have only 140 million float which will make the early entrants into the stock the lucky ones.
If they are getting into a better position as you spell out, they should bring back a dividend. A dividend with CMS is so important I thought it would drop in stock price to be delisted. Whipple may be lucky this time.
Bring back the divi? Are you crazy. They need to hold onto every cent possible to clean up the balance sheet. No, the divi is not that important. Maybe to orphans and widows(how many orphans do you know that own stock!!!), but really, its not that important because even if they did bring it back it would be like .04 a year.
I agree that CMS is less speculative than ILA--and that is reflected in the respective stock prices. I think however both will survive without bankruptcy. I hope that CMS will clearly explain its road map to recovery on April 1. The recently announced loans and credit line for Consumers need to be put in the context of a comprehensive plan.