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.
So far, this has been a very good year to buy and hold utility stocks. The Dow Jones Utility Average including dividends returned 15.4 percent in the first half of the year. Our 2019 picks from the January article did even better with an 18 percent average total return. That beat our pans’ 6 percent return by a 3-to-1 margin.
Buckeye Partners’ (NYSE: BPL) first quarter earnings results had all the hallmarks of a company careening towards another distribution cut. Then Australian private infrastructure fund IFM came along with a $41.50 per unit all-cash takeover offer. That’s given long-suffering unitholders their best opportunity to cash out since early 2018.
Xcel Energy’s (NYSE: XEL) electric utility territory stretches from Minnesota to Texas, running through high-growth Colorado. And with nearly $12 billion in annual revenue and $31 billion market capitalization, its strategic moves are always significant. But getting there depends on more wind power deployment. For that, Xcel will rely on NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE), its biggest supplier and the leading US producer of wind and solar.
Almost 20 years ago, dysfunctional rules for California’s unregulated power market drove the state’s two biggest electric utilities into bankruptcy and impacted the entire sector. This year, the "inverse condemnation" rule has triggered one bankruptcy filing and may push the state's other electric utilities' ratings toward junk.
Aqua America (NYSE: WTR) is closing in on its proposed acquisition of Pennsylvania-based Peoples Gas, positioning the companies' merger for a late third-quarter close.
Buy American, buy safety and buy yield: Those are three powerful upside drivers for utility stocks this spring, as major sector averages have made one new high after another.
Investors who choose to run with the bulls now, however, should have an extra ounce of caution. Not only are utility stock valuations at levels we haven’t seen since late 2000.
But as I point out in the Feature article, much of the buying power behind the rise doesn’t actually stem from decisions made by individual investors or even money managers. It’s the result of buy signals for algorithms that control vast and growing pools of “passively managed” money.
On May 24, the Dow Jones Utility Average made a new all-time high. Over the next week or so it followed the S&P 500 lower, testing its 50-day moving average on several occasions before breaking out to another new high last week. That’s a stark contrast with the broad market, which has been alternatively puncturing support and failing to break resistance.
Management’s rationale is identical to that of other telecoms cutting the past couple years. It needs more cash to tackle a wall of pending debt maturities, even as capital spending needs pick up for next generation 5-G wireless and competition pressures 4-G revenues.
There’s nothing quite like the adrenaline rush from a big short-term gain in a stock. My son Nate enjoyed that feeling this week by picking up on a Utility Report Card recommendation of El Paso Electric (NYSE: EE). This week, the stock surged when a JP Morgan fund offered $68.50 per share in cash for the company.
Roger's favorite utilities for investors seeking superior price appreciation by taking calculated risks.
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Warning: Falling Dividends.
Roger's current take and vital statistics on more than 200 essential-services stocks.