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.
Earlier this month, New York announced a ban on new natural gas hookups starting later this decade. Then Texas imposed major new restrictions on wind and solar deployment. And both states respectively released plans to spend billions of taxpayer money to build new renewable energy and natural gas generation, if the private sector doesn’t jump fast and high enough.
Not to be left out, Congressional Republicans passed legislation to undo the Biden Administration’s two-year solar panel tariff relief. And the House is threatening to trigger a first-ever US default if Inflation Reduction Act subsidies aren’t unwound, just as the Biden Administration is rolling out all-new restrictions on fossil fuel use including transport.
Back in 2003, Conservative Holding Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) was a sprawling utility conglomerate. Its global portfolio of assets included real estate management, an Ecuadorian wireless phone and Australian natural gas pipelines. That’s when management began a long transition back to its regulated electric utility roots, selling assets, paring debt and investing in rate base. And later this year, Duke will finish the journey by selling its commercial renewable energy business, turning the company’s focus squarely on its $145 billion, 10-year utility CAPEX plans.
In December 2020, I added FirstEnergy Corp (NYSE: FE) to the Aggressive Holdings on a simple premise: Investor expectations for the outcome of the Ohio bribery scandal were far too pessimistic—and a less gloomy outcome would trigger a big rebound for the stock. As it turned out, the utility’s former management was found guilty of bribing key state officials to pass legislation favorable to the company. But Ohio contributed only about 16 percent of FirstEnergy’s earnings, meaning the state needed the utility more than the other way around. And state and federal regulators have as result focusing on the executives rather than the company, allowing fresh management to repair frayed regulatory relations.
There’s no one right way to invest. The key is to seek an approach you’re comfortable with and stick to it, absorbing the best information you can find to make the best possible decisions. The approach that suits me is decidedly long-term. Mainly, I like to build positions in companies I believe will grow consistently, and when their stocks trade at what I believe to be discounted prices.
There were no additional dividend cuts in the Utility Report Card coverage universe this month. And two companies earned an exit from the Endangered Dividends List, thanks to better than expected Q1 results and guidance. NuStar Energy (NYSE: NS) is still challenged by heavy debt taken on in the previous decade. And despite minimal maturities through 2024, management will have to devote the energy midstream company’s spare cash to paring down its $4.6 billion of borrowings. That’s almost three times the stock’s current market capitalization and includes nearly $2.1 billion with variable rates.
The history of US electric, natural gas, communications and water utilities is synonymous with mergers and acquisitions. Over the 120 years or so since these services began to be essential to modern life, there have been literally thousands of mergers between operating utilities. And not one has failed to eventually create a financially stronger, more efficient and resilient company.
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.