Wednesday, June 16

Beleaguered utility PG&E shares pop 37% after hours

Josh Elelson | AFP | Getty Images

The burned remains of a vehicle and home are seen during the Camp fire in Paradise, California on November 8, 2018. 

Shares of utility PG&E popped 37 percent in after hours trading Thursday, a sharp move upward for the stock, which has fallen more than 50 percent this week.

PG&E’s stock has sunk amid concerns that its equipment could be partly responsible for the so-called Camp Fire raging in Northern California. There was no obvious cause for the rally as of 5:15 p.m. ET, though the Butte County Fire Department told CNBC that the cause of the conflagration is still under investigation.

The Wall Street exodus from the utility began in earnest on Wednesday after the company said that, if its equipment is found responsible for the fire, the costs would exceed its insurance coverage and impact its financial well-being.

PG&E said in an email that it’s “not going to speculate or comment on what factors may or may not be impacting the stock market.”

Though the cause of the Camp Fire remains under investigation, the utility company also said that it submitted an “electric incident report” to the California Public Utilities Commission on Nov. 8, just before the wildfire. The report indicated a power failure on a transmission line in Butte County at 6:15 a.m. PST that day. The fire was reported at approximately 6:30 a.m. PST, according to state records.

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