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The Internet Analyst News - Utilities-Getting a Kick out of Tech.

Business Editors

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 3, 2000

Utility stocks may not seem to have the allure of the Internets, but look again. Many of these once-stodgy companies have made strategic investments in e-commerce and telecom, and now offer some hidden values.

To find the winners in this sector, Mr. Konolige suggests that investors look for "no regrets" investments --- stocks trading close to their depressed, underlying utility values that also have e-lectricity kickers. Companies singled out by Morgan Stanley include DQE (NYSE:DQE), Puget Sound Energy (NYSE:PSD), and Conectiv (NYSE:CIV).

PUGET SOUND ENERGY, an electric and gas utility, offers investors a technology play through ConneXt, a customer-relationship management software and billing services provider. ConneXt's new billing products will be jointly marketed by some well-known technology names, including EDS (NYSE:EDS), IBM (NYSE:IBM), and Oracle (Nasdaq:ORCL). Conectiv owns Conectiv Communications, a competitive local exchange carrier, and has a 67% stake in EnerTech Capital, a venture capital fund that invests in energy e-commerce. General partners in the fund include Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE:SFE) and TL Ventures. The fund's investments include Internet Capital Group (Nasdaq:ICGE), PAC-West Telecomm (Nasdaq:PACW), and essential.com, a Web provider of basic utilities and household services to consumers and small businesses.

Natural gas utility company Enron (NYSE:ENE) owns a wholesale energy trading and exchange business through Enron Online. Even Williams (NYSE:WMB), an energy-related holding company, is starting to benefit from its 85%-owned subsidiary, Williams Communications Group (NYSE:WCG), which went public in October 1999.

To find out more about utilities , read the article in Multex.com's The Internet Analyst(sm), http://www.theinternetanalyst.com/min-tia/individual/000427sections/connections.html

Companies profiled: DQE (NYSE:DQE) http://www.multexinvestor.com/af001215/tickersearch.asp?Ticker=dqe

Puget Sound Energy (NYSE:PSD) http://www.multexinvestor.com/af001215/tickersearch.asp?Ticker=psd

Conectiv (NYSE:CIV) http://www.multexinvestor.com/af001215/tickersearch.asp?Ticker=civ
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 3, 2000
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