September 4, 2018 / 1:21 PM / 9 months ago

BUZZ-PG&E: Rises as Evercore says "buy" on California wildfire bill

** PG&E Corp up ~5 pct and among biggest S&P 500 winners premarket as Evercore ISI upgrades stock from “in line” to “outperform” after California lawmakers pass legislation on co’s wildfire liability

** Evercore also bumps its PT by $2 to $52, saying bill “far from perfect, but should help PCG stave off financial distress”

** California’s legislature passed a bill late Fri that could help the utility avoid potentially crippling liabilities for wildfires that ravaged northern parts of San Francisco Bay Area last year

** If signed by the governor, law would provide co path to pass on legal damages and other costs to ratepayers

** PCG took a $2.5 bln charge in Jul, two weeks after state officials blamed the utility’s power lines for sparking the fires

** Since the fires last Oct, PCG shares have lost a third of their value; YTD, stock up 3 pct, vs S&P 500 utility sector’s near 1 pct gain

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