Wow, this is extremely telling and shows the actual attitude that people in the company adopt towards the customers. No wonder sales unit volume is way down due the huge loss of customers.
OK...Yes, as one writer states..this site is really about exchanging info for investment purposes. Problem is, most investors care only about their return. With that in mind, I ask each of you who continues to invest in a company that has major problems, when will you pull out? The third quater results will be out and AmeriGas is another 80+ million in the hole. One writer talks about cash flow etc. Yes AmeriGas finds a way to pay their dividends, etc. I worry about those who know little about AmweriGas and how they operate. On the human side, alot of good people are now out of jobs due to the Heritage deal. AmeriGas could give a rats a-- about what happens to these people. Yes, their will be fallout from any aquisition, but AmeriGas likes to clean house when they have employees that voice their opinions, either good or bad. All the things that AmeriGas does to reduce expenses are standard procedure for most companies. Problem again is that AmeriGas will severance out a long term employee who contributed for years just to save a buck. I wonder how they will deal with the pay differences that Heritage brings with them. All these problems will surface when the season starts. AmeriGas depends on weather to make profits. Weather has not cooperated lately. Mix in Heritage and the picture looks more bleak. Over a billion dollars was borrowed, dividends continue to rise even though AmeriGas has not made enough to cover. Weather continues to be warm. Customer losses are not helping. Sorry, but any investor who believes that AmeriGas can sustain if this trend continues needs to invest in pet rocks.
In Tucson APU recently took over the operation run by Heritage/ETP. Service by both is and always has been excellent. Propane is a very competitive business and price in Tucson was secondary to service.
Know for the bottle business there is a new huge supplier - Costco. They are filling bottles at their stores at about 65% of other places. Do not know who the supplier actually is. They should do fabulously as Costco sells 15% of gasoline locally.
You probably have stock in that Pharmacy company who just paid 3 billion. I understand the type of person you are. The dollar is first and to hell with the rest. Have an opinion on fraud in corporate America??
While I have no idea what pharma you refer to I do hold a modest portfolio of solid dividend/distribution producers, bonds in the likes of T and IBM, and funds like Royce Value. Conservative, well run, dominant positions.
I have an opinion on the distributable cash flow of APU less maintenance capital expenditure-- namely that it is more than adequate to pay our distributions. I'll leave the minutae of daily operations of the company to it's capable managers and the vast majority of commenters here in YMBland who seem to think this is the venue to cure all that ails corporate America rather than exchange info and views about the financial performance of an investment.
I'll look in here after the next quarterly report to see if others might have insights from that event. It may well be that there will be some costs associated with the merger that will present a headwind. I would view those as short term leading to a larger and more efficient company.
APU now the largest by far in the US (actually larger than Ferrel, Suburban, and Inergy combined).
Certainly interested in other views about the operations of the company but I just don't see the utility of interviewing drivers or scounging up obscure comments on a website for disgruntled customers. Those isolated views do not really provide much insight into the total picture for a company with over $2.5B in revenues.
But you are quite right that money isn't everything.
It's really unfortunate. I have been long on APU for 6 years and still own the position. As anyone knows who follows the stock, I have done well in that time and feel that I will continue to do well. I had Amerigas at my home and business and last year switched to a local business for my residential home due to a number of problems with Amerigas. For my business, I've never had a problem, but on the residential side it was little short of disastrous. In short, after every delivery, I had to call the office due to the excessive cost--$4.80 to $5.99 per gallon. I use propane for both heat (in Maine) and cooking, so my usage is certainly not low. More importantly, despite having signed up for the automatic delivery option ("guaranteed", in Amerigas's own words), I ran out of propane twice. Once for three days and the second for 9 days, both in the middle of winter. After nine days of a space heater and candles for heat, I called the office and told them not to bother to fill it up. They were well-aware that I was out of propane and I had called several times to remind them and the response was that they are "doing their best". I will say that when I called on the ninth day to cancel, they stated that they would sent out someone right then and now--but that was much too late. They then said that they would pick up the tank in a week--I called and reminded them 6 months later that it was still on my property.
Despite all this, I still own the stock and have no plans to sell--they consistently pull in the numbers. I do wish, though, that they could really improve their customer service. They are in a position to be the Goliath of this market, but their reputation is terrible among residential customers and my own experience, unfortunately, confirms it.
I had a nearly identical experience with.....
overpriced, run out on the so called keep full option. etc, etc
Makes ya wonder what somebody with a real effort to provide good customer service could do
But I am quite pleased with the small local propane supplier I have now.
I also have held apu for many years, great dividend, substantial pps increase.