Free cash flow
In the past five years, CMS Energy (CMS) has experienced flat or diminishing growth in its cash flow from operations, while its capital expenditure has significantly increased.
At the end of 2011, CMS’s free cash flow was nearly $230 million, whereas at the end of 2015, it was -$13 million.
The primary cause of this free cash flow fall was falling load growth. In the past eight to ten years, electricity demand growth has remained largely flattish.
Notably, utilities (IDU) (VPU) have managed to keep their top lines healthy by expanding their customer bases or widening their product portfolios. However, weather and energy efficiency programs have had substantial influences on utilities’ performances.