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TransAlta Corp. Q3-2020 Earnings, Price Target Update

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TransAlta Corp.(TA-TSX) operates as a wholesale power generator, marketer and energy trader, with facilities located in Canada, the US, and Australia comprising 9,000MW(net) of generation capacity from 70 power generation facilities located in Canada, US and Australia including TransAlta's 60% interest in TransAlta Renewables (RNW). Operations are organized into Canadian coal fueled operations comprising 19% of capacity Canadian Natural gas at 22%, Wind and Solar at 24%, Gas Fueled operations in Australia at 13%, US coal at 9%, Hydro generation- 13%. Total assets are $9.2B compared to $9.4B at Dec-31-2018. They owned interests in 72 generating facilities as of Sept-30-2016 (Jun-30-2015, 64). By location, 78% of capacity is located in Canada, 16% in the US and 6% in Australia.

Results are seasonal due to the nature of the electricity market and related fuel costs. Higher maintenance costs are usually incurred in the second and third quarters when electricity prices are expected to be lower, as electricity prices generally increase in the winter months in the Canadian market. Margins are also typically impacted in the second quarter due to the volume of hydro production resulting from spring runoff and rainfall in the Canadian and U.S. markets.

The largest segments are Canadian coal located in Alberta and natural gas in Ontario, and US coal at their two facilities in Washington State. Coal fired facilities of which 5 are located in Alberta and one in Washington state comprise 25% of capacity (down from 57% as of Nov-2017) of capacity, natural gas fuels 12 facilities in Canada and Australia comprising 19% of capacity of which 70% is owned by TransAlta Renewables(RNW). Wind and solar production contribute 14% of capacity of which 90% is owned through TransAlta Renewables. Hydro power contributes 10% of productive capacity located mainly in Alberta. In the US the principal facilities include a 1,340 MW coal facility the 248 MW natural gas-fired facility; both located in Centralia, Washington.

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