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.
Between mid-2020 and summer 2022, shares of Aggressive Holding National Fuel Gas (NYSE: NFG) roughly doubled—for a time exceeding my “consider taking profits” level. They’ve since retreated about -25 percent and are positioned to make another run.
All in all, it was a pretty flat Q1. The Dow Jones Utility Average finished lower by about -2 percent, including dividends. And that was a mark all three of our model portfolios were able to top: On average, Aggressive Holdings were up 3.06 percent, Conservative Holdings slipped -0.79 percent and Top 10 DRIPs retreated -0.96 percent.
We’re barely three months in. But already, 80 Utility Report Card companies have announced dividend increases for 2023. I expect many others to join them in the next few months.
The growth formula for regulated utilities hasn’t changed this year: Electric, gas and water companies identify what needs fresh investment—to bring on new business and residential customers, increase efficiency, improve safety and environmental remediation and/or build new facilities and assets to accommodate higher volumes.
Last weekend, a Wall Street Journal editorial pointed out the cost of “balancing the grid” added GBP150 to UK household electricity bills in 2022. The authors’ attempt to blame the entire cost on adoption of renewable energy is quite a stretch, as it ignores the larger role of erratic weather and availability of other power plants.
Their broader point that wind and solar are still challenged by intermittency, however, is spot on.
The S&P 500 is still holding onto about half its early 2023 gains. But like other dividend-paying stocks, utilities have gone into reverse this spring, with the Dow Jones Utility Average underwater by nearly 6 percent year-to-date. High inflation and rising interest rates are certainly playing a role in the underperformance. But a more important reason may be investors’ disappointment that last year’s Inflation Reduction Act didn’t spark a more robust industry response.
NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE) was the first major mover in American renewable energy—forging relationships across the country with prospective customers, local governments and suppliers years ahead of the competition en route to building its current 65 gigawatt capacity operating portfolio. And the company is set to continue that dominance, coming off a record year of 8 GW of new contracts and 5 GW start ups despite supply chain challenges. The Florida Power & Light utility is developing what management calls a 160 GW solar, storage and hydrogen opportunity over the next 20 years. And unregulated NextEra Energy Resources has $71 billion total assets, 30 GW of generation and a backlog of signed contracts for 19 GW more.
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Roger's current take and vital statistics on more than 200 essential-services stocks.