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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

Lower Expectations to Bring Better 2019 Results

By Roger S. Conrad on Jan. 14, 2019
A year ago, I highlighted “lofty expectations” as the primary danger to the Conrad’s Utility Investor coverage universe. That risk is no longer so acute after a year of generally robust earnings and sliding share prices. Rather, the key question is whether companies can maintain profit and dividend growth momentum, should the macro environment darken in 2019 as so many fear. And certainly there are plenty of causes for concern on that front, ranging from trade tariffs and potential fallout from a record-long US government shutdown to still-tightening monetary policy. This month’s Utility Report Card highlights how all 200-plus companies we track stack up on the five criteria behind our Quality Grades: Dividend growth sustainability, revenue reliability, regulatory relations, refinancing/financing ability and operating efficiency. As the 2018 returns shown in the comments also demonstrate, even A-rated companies meeting all five can see red ink in a given year. But being strong on the inside is the best forecaster for an eventual recovery. And it’s also the most effective protection for investors if the economy and stock market resume their vicious pre-Christmas holiday slide. This is also the time of year when we publish our sector-by-sector forecast, along with picks and pans for each in the coming year. Last year’s favored stocks once again beat the bad and ugly, though almost everything followed the overall market underwater. I expect a much better result this year, in large part because investor expectations are far lower across the board for essential services companies.

AGL Energy: Staying the Course to Long-Term Dominance

By Roger S. Conrad on Jan. 14, 2019
Utilities that go to war with regulators should normally be avoided. The exception this year is Australia’s dominant electric company AGL Energy (ASX: AGL, OTC: AGLXY). The country holds national elections this year. By every poll, the opposition Labor Party is headed for a potentially big win. And in response, the ruling Liberal/National Party coalition has turned to utility bashing to score political points.

The Low Cost Way to Buy NextEra

By Roger S. Conrad on Jan. 14, 2019
NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE) is both America’s leading producer of wind and solar energy and operator of arguably its healthiest electric utility. So it’s small wonder it’s also the country’s most power stock.

Banking on a Quality Rebound

By Roger S. Conrad on Jan. 14, 2019
In 2018, the Conservative Income Portfolio lost 0.76 percent of its value, with our 20 holdings increasing dividends an average of 7.3 percent. The Aggressive Holdings lost -4.9 percent while raising payouts an average of 14.3 percent from the year before. The Top 10 DRIPs slipped -5.8 percent with average dividend growth of 5.9 percent.

Fewer Dividend Cuts Ahead for 2019

By Roger S. Conrad on Jan. 14, 2019
Last year, 20 Utility Report Card coverage universe members cut dividends at least one time. That’s a fraction of the 126 that raised payouts, including all the Conservative Holdings and Top 10 DRIPs. But it’s more than we’ve seen since the 2008-09 Bear Market. Now for some good news: Even if the global economy does slow this year, most essential services companies have adjusted enough to maintain their current payouts the next 12 months. That should even include most current members of the Endangered Dividends List, despite the weaknesses that landed them there. See this issue’s URC comments for complete analysis of how the coverage universe measures up on our five quality criteria: Payout sustainability, revenue reliability, regulator relations, refinancing risk and operating efficiency.

Picks and Pans for 2019

By Roger S. Conrad on Jan. 14, 2019
Diversification and focus on quality don’t prevent every loss. But they’re the best assurance a small setback won’t become a large one, as well as the surest road to ultimate recovery. That’s food for thought as you peruse last year’s performance of Conrad’s Utility Investor coverage universe stocks. While in 2017 the vast majority produced solid returns, most didn’t in 2018. The list of winners included takeover targets, trouble-free regulated utilities and some foreign energy stocks. The far longer roster of losers included companies that were already in trouble as well as high quality utilities that simply ran out of gas.

12/28/18 End Year Moves

By Roger S. Conrad on Dec. 28, 2018

High Yield Bonds Without High Risks

By Roger S. Conrad on Dec. 22, 2018
With barely a week left to go, the fourth quarter is on track to be nearly as bad for high yield bonds as it has for high yield stocks.  

Time to Buy Yield

By Roger S. Conrad on Dec. 21, 2018
The combination of worries about the global economy in 2019 and political chaos have so far made this the worst December for the stock market in memory.

Dominion Energy: Beyond the Scana Merger

By Roger S. Conrad on Dec. 15, 2018
This week, Dominion Energy (NYSE: D) is set to reap the reward for its bold takeover of Scana Corp (NYSE:SCG) as the South Carolina Public Service Commission has approved the merger.

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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