Energen Corp (NYSE: EGN) will sell its Alabama gas distribution utility to Laclede Gas (NYSE: LG), for $1.28 billion in cash plus $320 million in assumed debt. The company will deploy the estimated $1.1 billion in after tax proceeds to further develop its high potential properties in the Permian Basin.
Fourth quarter and full-year earnings normally dominate the news this time of year. And rightly so: They’re what ultimately shape shareholder returns.
The Conrad’s Utility Investor Portfolios officially launched on July 31, 2013. Since that time, the Dow Jones Utility Average is off -2.3 percent, including dividends paid.
My Aggressive Income Portfolio is up by 9.3 percent, while the Conservative Income Portfolio has returned 3.3 percent.
Will Santa Claus visit utility stock investors this year? The sector was out of the gate quickly to start the fourth quarter of 2013. But concerns about the “tapering” off of Federal Reserve bond buying quickly slowed things down.
Fear of rising interest rates again appears to be triggering selling of utility stocks. I’ve shown over and again that the sector’s so-called interest rate sensitivity is a false relationship over any recent period longer than a few weeks. Consequently, lower prices should be viewed as a buying opportunity for recommended stocks.
Shares of transmission line operator ITC Holdings (NYSE: ITC) have dropped more than 14 percent from the all-time highs reached in early November. The immediate catalyst: A group of industrial users have demanded the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission cut its allowed returns.
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