Houston Chronicle

NRG Energy, one of the state’s biggest power generators and power retailers, said it strengthened its balance sheet last year, reduced its debt and is on the path to an investment grade rating.

NRG earnings recharged in 2019 as CEO hints at going private- oil and gas 360

Source: Houston Chronicle

“The company has never been stronger or with a brighter future than it is today,” Mauricio Gutierrez, NRG  chief executive officer, told investors during a conference call Thursday morning.

NRG reported net income of $4.4 billion for 2019, up from $268 million the previous year.  Revenue increased to $9.8 billion in 2019, up from $9.5 billion in 2018.

But the low stock price continues to trouble senior executives, who said the company will likely launch another round of stock buybacks in the second half of the year if it can’t find sufficient investments for excess cash it has on hand.

Gutierrez raised the possibility of taking the company private as the share price continues to lag. NRG shares have fallen 17.6 percent in the past year compared with the S&P 500 which gained 8.9 percent during the same period.

“Right now it’s  not lost on me on where our stock price is,” he said, adding that it doesn’t reflect the fundamental value of the company. That includes a balance between generation and retail parts of the business, stable and predictable earnings and a meaningful return on capital, he said.

“We will evaluate all options,”  Gutierrez said.

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