Through the end of the second quarter, more than half the roughly 200 companies covered in our Utility Report Card increased their dividends at least once. Fifteen cut their payouts over this period. About three-quarters of our coverage universe are in the black this year.
Lofty valuations on last year’s winners make it much harder for even the strongest names to make significant headway this year—a reason for investors to stay disciplined and stick to our value-based buy targets.
The Dow Jones Utility Average historically has struggled to trade at these elevated levels without suffering a reversion to the mean. Whether the benchmark index’s 5 percent decline from its June high marks a real tipping point remains to be seen, though the recent action bears a strong resemblance to the selloff that occurred last summer.
Meanwhile, another tipping point for electric utilities has appeared on the horizon: Recent trends suggest that over the coming decade, unsubsidized solar- and wind-power projects will be able to compete on cost with existing coal- and gas-fired power plants.
This topic figured prominently at a launch event for Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s recently published energy outlook and at the Energy Information Administration’s annual conference. I attended both and share some of my top takeaways in this issue.
Although investors should always view long-term forecasts with skepticism, electric utilities’ investment plans and strategic decisions suggest that the rise of renewable energy could be a real profit driver for the sector, especially when paired with efficiency initiatives.
We revisit our basket of fixed-income securities and take profits on one bond that has rallied hard since the presidential election. We also explore the fallout from Westinghouse's bankruptcy.
Utility stocks have continued to rally, propelling a record 20 of our Portfolio holdings above our value-based buy targets--a high-quality problem. We also highlight the solid fourth-quarter results posted by a handful of our aggressive picks.
We analyze fourth-quarter results from some of the biggest companies in our model Portfolios and explain why one of our Aggressive Income Portfolio holdings surged 11 percent after reporting earnings.
Our basket of junk bonds outperformed in a challenging fourth quarter.
Does Eversource Energy's recently announced acquisition of Aquarion Water mark the start of a new trend in utility mergers and acquisitions?
Over the past 12 months, the difference between the top and bottom performers in the Alerian MLP Infrastructure Index amounted to about 60 percentage points. Capturing this upside requires on-the-ground intelligence, which is why we attend the MLPA Association's annual investor conference every year.
The growing popularity of green bonds creates opportunities for savvy investors and can help utilities to reduce their cost of capital.
ARPA-E's Energy Innovation Summit, which takes place next week, could give us early insights into President Trump's energy policies.
Could Donald Trump's support for the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines foment local opposition to other energy projects?
Roger's favorite utilities for investors seeking superior price appreciation by taking calculated risks.
Harness the tried and true wealth-building power of rising dividends.
Nothing compounds wealth like reinvesting a rising stream of dividends.
Warning: Falling Dividends.
Roger's current take and vital statistics on more than 200 essential-services stocks.