Progress Energy “Flash Crash” – Hedge Fund Games?

Progress Energy (PGN) had what some are calling a “flash crash” in share price today. They fell almost 90% in a matter of seconds before jumping back up to normal levels. What makes it even more interesting is it broke the so-called circuit breakers set in by the SEC to prevent exactly this type of thing.

Progress Energy Third-Quarter Earnings Release Webcast Set for Oct. 29
Published: Monday, 27 Sep 2010 | 8:30 AM ET Text Size
RALEIGH, N.C., Sept 27, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN) will hold a conference call to discuss 2010 third-quarter earnings results on Friday, Oct. 29. The conference call will begin at 10 a.m. ET (7 a.m. PT) and will be webcast to the public. The call will be hosted by Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson and Chief Financial Officer Mark Mulhern.

http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20020923/CHM008LOGO-c http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20020923/CHM008LOGO-c Investors, media and the public may listen to the conference call by dialing 913-312-0396, confirmation code 5698470. If you encounter problems connecting to the conference call, please contact Investor Relations at 919-546-6057.

A webcast of the live conference call will be available at http://www.progress-energy.com/investor. The webcast will be archived on the site for at least 30 days following the call for those unable to listen in real time. A playback of the entire conference call will be available from 1 p.m. ET Oct. 29 through midnight Nov. 12. To listen to the recorded call, dial 719-457-0820 and enter confirmation code 5698470.

Progress Energy (NYSE: PGN), headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is a Fortune 500 energy company with more than 22,000 megawatts of generation capacity and approximately $10 billion in annual revenues. Progress Energy includes two major electric utilities that serve about 3.1 million customers in the Carolinas and Florida. The company has earned the Edison Electric Institute’s Edison Award, the industry’s highest honor, in recognition of its operational excellence, and was the first utility to receive the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Founder’s Award for customer service. The company is pursuing a balanced strategy for a secure energy future, which includes aggressive energy-efficiency programs, investments in renewable energy technologies and a state-of-the-art electricity system. Progress Energy celebrated a century of service in 2008.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/39378724

CNBC ran a plug regarding the news story above during one of their programs today (can’t remember if it was Fast Money or The Call) to acknowledge their positive third quarter earnings. Less than an hour after the plug, PGN crashed to a low of 4.57 yes, “four” not forty, before immediately moving back to the 43.90 range. The circuit breakers are supposed to prevent a flash move of over 10%, they clearly missed the mark here as PGN lost 89% of its value in seconds.

One cannot rule out the involvement of hedge fund mischief, it is the goal of ibankers and fund managers to get pumped stocks on CNBC before making ridiculous bid/offers. I’ll let you be the judge.

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About Aaron Basile
Market Technician, Equity/Commodity Trader, Austrian Economist, Contrarian Investor

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