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  • Roger S. Conrad

Roger S. Conrad needs no introduction to individual and professional investors, many of whom have profited from his decades of experience uncovering the best dividend-paying stocks for accumulating sustainable wealth.

Roger built his reputation with Utility Forecaster, a publication he founded more than 20 years ago that The Hulbert Financial Digest routinely ranked as one of the best investment newsletters. He’s also a sought-after expert on master limited partnerships (MLP) and former Canadian royalty trusts.

In April 2013, Roger reunited with his long-time friend and colleague, Elliott Gue, becoming co-editor of Energy & Income Advisor, a semimonthly online newsletter that’s dedicated to uncovering the most profitable opportunities in the energy sector.

Although the masthead may have changed, readers can count on Roger to deliver the same high-quality analysis and rational assessment of the best dividend-paying utilities, MLPs and dividend-paying Canadian energy names.

Articles

Utility M&A Heats Up But Play the Long Game

By Roger S. Conrad on Jun. 10, 2024
Utility mergers and acquisitions are heating up again. But utility stocks’ spring momentum has at least temporarily cooled. The Dow Jones Utility Average is still up solidly with a 6.3 percent year-to-date return, much better than most dividend paying sectors. But utilities are again lagging returns of 13.3 percent for the Nasdaq 100 and 12.8 percent for the S&P 500. The reason for the reversal: Yet another shift in investor expectations for Federal Reserve policy. And the consensus now is we’ll see few if any rate cuts this year.

Exelon Corp: Undervalued, Steady Growth, Low Risk

By Roger S. Conrad on Jun. 10, 2024
Conservative Holding Exelon Corp (NYSE: EXC) spun out its unregulated nuclear power operations to shareholders as Constellation Energy (NYSE: CEG) in early 2022. And it’s fair to say no one—including me—anticipated the stock would rise nearly 400 percent since. Neither did I think the remaining six-state regulated utility would return basically zero. And despite boosting dividends 13 percent since the spin, Exelon shares trade at just 14.6 times expected next 12 months earnings, versus 16.6 for the Dow Jones Utility Average.

MDU Resources: One Last Spin, Then a Potential Takeover

By Roger S. Conrad on Jun. 10, 2024
Last year, Aggressive Holding MDU Resources (NYSE: MDU) spun off its construction materials unit as Knife River (NYSE: KNF). Since then, the shares of KNF that MDU investors received per a 1-for-4 ratio have appreciated by roughly 75 percent. Now MDU is spinning out its larger construction services business as Everus, in a deal expected “in late 2024.” The unit reported all-time record order backlog in Q1. And with growth opportunities including data center development and industrial reshoring, its launch promises to attract even more interest.

Lower Prices for High Quality Stocks Mean Better Buys

By Roger S. Conrad on Jun. 10, 2024
All Utility Report Card companies have released calendar Q1 results and updated guidance, save a pair of floundering renewable energy companies flirting with bankruptcy: FuelCell Energy (NSDQ: FCEL) and SunPower (NSDQ: SPWR). For Portfolio companies, the verdict from later reporters’ results is the same as from the early returns. Number one, all of our companies are on track with the investment plans behind long-term earnings and dividend growth guidance.

More Telecom Cuts

By Roger S. Conrad on Jun. 10, 2024
Only three US communications companies have avoided dividend cuts since 1996 Deregulation: Giants Comcast Corp (NSDQ: CMCSA) and Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), and specialty fiber broadband service provider Cogent Communications Holdings (NSDQ: CCOI). Last month, small town-focused Telephone & Data Systems (NYSE: TDS) slashed its quarterly dividend from 19 cents to just 4 cents per share. The -79 percent cut reflects the proposed sale of wireless operations and related spectrum by the company’s 72.66 percent-owned US Cellular Corp (NYSE: USM) unit to T-Mobile US (NSDQ: TMUS).

Two Ways to Play the Return of Utility M&A

By Roger S. Conrad on Jun. 10, 2024
No merger between operating utilities has ever failed to create a stronger, more resilient company. That’s a claim no other sector can make. Providing electricity, heat, communications and water service is a scale business. Larger companies spread out costs over a wider population and raise vast sums of capital more easily. And they’re better able to handle the inevitable handle shocks to the system, be they natural or man-made disasters.

What to Make of Takeover Tuesday

By Roger S. Conrad on May. 28, 2024

There was an explosion of takeover activity in the Utility Report Card coverage universe today. Here’s a look at four deals announced today and what they mean for us.

Utility Bonds: Still Keeping It Short

By Roger S. Conrad on May. 12, 2024
A number of readers have asked my views on bonds as an alternative to dividend paying stocks. That’s understandable, given what’s been general investor disinterest in dividends over the past year and a half, even when companies have raised them reliably and robustly.

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ABOUT ROGER CONRAD

Roger S. Conrad needs no introduction to individual and professional investors, many of whom have profited from his decades of experience uncovering the best dividend-paying stocks for accumulating sustainable wealth. Roger b