Utility services company Exelon Corporation (EXC) announced that it will commence a $4.6 billion expenditure program in IIIinois, which will create 4,200 new jobs over the next five years. As a part of the spending program, Exelon will undertake 101 individual projects in the IIIinois cities and counties, the first of which is scheduled to begin in September.


The first project will be the decommissioning of the Zion nuclear power station, which will last for ten years with an estimated cost of $1 billion. This project will require 200 skilled workers on an average and the peak workforce expected to reach 400.


Exelon has plans to upgrade a range of equipment at its six Illinois nuclear plants, which will not only produce additional 420 million watts of carbon-free power but also create 50 permanent positions and an additional 280 full-time equivalent jobs. The total investments to upgrade the plants are pegged at $1.4 billion.


The company has also planned for some additional upgrades and 33 nuclear refueling operations in its six nuclear plants. This will create about 3,700 full time equivalent positions and will cost the company $2.2 billion.


The adjusted earnings of Exelon at the end of second-quarter 2010 were 99 cents a share compared with $1.03 per share in the year-ago comparable period. The Zacks Consensus Estimates for third quarter 2010, fiscal year 2010 and fiscal year 2011 are $1.09 per share, $3.93 per share and $4.11 per share, respectively.


The major peers of the company are Ameren Corporation (AEE), Dynegy Inc. (DYN) and PPL Corporation (PPL). On a competitive landscape the operating margins of Exelon fared better than its peers in the trailing twelve months.


We appreciate the decision taken by Exelon, as it will not only provide additional carbon-free electricity in the forthcoming years but also create new jobs in the region.


Exelon currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating). We presently maintain a Neutral rating on the stock.


Based in Chicago , Illinois , Exelon Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to residential, commercial, industrial and wholesale customers.