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TECO Energy, Inc. (TE)

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We have downgraded our recommendation on TECO Energy, Inc. (TE) to Underperform from Neutral, primarily due to stringent federal regulations related to underground mining operations and waste management, over-reliance on weather patterns, volatile commodity prices and unsold tons of coal at TECO Coal.

In addition, chances of elimination of the provision for tax deductions of coal mines and other hard minerals are expected to negatively affect the company's forthcoming financial performance in the future. In the state of Florida, regulators are going to implement new Green House Gas (GHG) emissions rules. Tampa Electric's conventional coal-fired Big Bend units do not have the required technology to remove carbon dioxide.

TECO Energy's current trailing 12-month earnings multiple is 14.2x, compared with the 20.8x average for the peer group and 14.8x for the S&P 500. Our target price of $16.00 reflects a P/E multiple of 13.6x based on 2012 earnings per share.

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