Exelon Corp., the largest U.S. nuclear plant owner, fell to the lowest in 21 months as natural-gas prices dropped for a third straight week.
Exelon decreased 1.3 percent to $38.37 at the close in New York, its lowest since July 6, 2010. Natural-gas futures declined 5.2 cents to $2.089 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement price since Jan. 30, 2002.
Power producers such as Chicago-based Exelon have seen margins squeezed because of lower demand for electricity and a glut of gas, said Paul Patterson, a New York-based electric power analyst with Glenrock Associates.
“Without a rebound in the economy, that sector is going to face a lower bottom line,” Patterson said in a phone interview.
Exelon has fallen 5.8 percent since the start of 2011, while the S&P 500 Utilities Index, which includes regulated utilities, gained 11.8 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Exelon is “well-positioned for the future” following its merger with Constellation Energy Group Inc., which closed March 9, Judith Rader, an Exelon spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.