) to market perform from market outperform.
On Monday an administrative law judge issued an opinion that El Paso manipulated the California natural gas market.
Analyst David Fleischer says substantial uncertainty has been created by the judge's initial decision that El Paso violated FERC rules and the Natural Gas Act by withholding capacity from the California market.
While the judge's opinion is not a final ruling, Fleischer notes it was negatively worded, and recommended that the FERC take this ruling to the penalty stage. Fleischer notes El Paso expects a reversal.
Meanwhile, he believes this initial ruling will, at minimum, overhang El Paso shares for a protracted period, and so he downgrade the shares.