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Feature Article

Atlantica Sustainable: The 10 Percent Yield is Safer than it Looks

By Roger S. Conrad on Nov. 13, 2023

Shares of Aggressive Holding Atlantic Sustainable Infrastructure Plc (NSDQ: AY) have lost almost one-third of their value this year. That’s pushed the dividend yield well north of 10 percent, a level last seen in early 2016. That’s when the bankruptcy of then-parent Abengoa SA threatened numerous company projects with potential cross-defaults. That forced Atlantica to hold in cash by suspending its dividend for six months. And it wasn’t until June 2021 that the payout was fully restored to the pre-suspension rate.

Dominion Energy: Big Yield and Ready to Recover

By Roger S. Conrad on Nov. 13, 2023

About a year ago, Dominion Energy (NYSE: D) announced a “top-to-bottom” strategic review. Management’s objective: To tackle three headwinds that were rapidly approaching hurricane force. Most important was ensuring the cost of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project wouldn’t balloon as other US offshore wind has. But the utility also had to reach an accommodation with a restive new Republican majority in the state legislature that was determined to roll back Democrats’ signature renewable energy law. And it had to cut parent level and floating rate debt with interest rates soaring.

Hunting High Quality Stocks at Dream Buy Prices

By Roger S. Conrad on Nov. 13, 2023

The Dow Jones Utility Average closed last week roughly -22 percent off the all-time high of 1077 reached in April 2022. The S&P Utilities is about as far below its all-time high from September last year. And both indexes have underperformed the S&P 500 by about 40 percentage points since making those highs. That’s pretty substantial underperformance. And the same is true for dividend-paying sectors across the board—Not much lately has beaten the humble money market fund.

SSE Will Cut, Vodafone at Risk

By Roger S. Conrad on Nov. 13, 2023

There were zero dividend cuts in the Utility Report Card coverage universe last month. Nor were there any negative Q3 surprises to push another company onto the Endangered Dividends List.

Dominion Energy (NYSE: D) is off this list this month. Management provided details during its Q3 earnings call that strongly back the integrity of the current dividend. The stock is a buy up to 65 and is my Conservative Focus.

Regulators: Still Supporting Utilities’ Growth Despite the Noise

By Roger S. Conrad on Nov. 13, 2023

This fall, utility stocks faced their worst selling pressure in years. That’s now eased up for one major reason: The much predicted and feared sector-wide earnings Armageddon never happened. Rather, Q3 results and guidance show plainly that companies are adapting successfully to everything from rising labor costs and pressure on customers’ finances to the likelihood of higher for longer interest rates.

AES Corp: Battered and Cheap but Still Solid

By Roger S. Conrad on Oct. 9, 2023

Aggressive Holding AES Corp’s (NYSE: AES) dividend yield is higher than its P/E multiple. That’s after a -54 percent year-to-date decline in the stock, most of it coming the last couple months as renewable energy and dividend stocks skidded across the board.

Duke Energy: Cutting Risk and at a Cut-Rate Price

By Roger S. Conrad on Oct. 9, 2023

Earlier this month, Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK0 closed the sale of its commercial distributed generation unit to a private capital consortium for $364 million. And later this year, it will complete the sale of its utility scale renewable energy unit to Brookfield Renewable Partners (NYSE: BEP, BEPC) for $2.8 billion.

Look to Dream Buys when Stocks Fall

By Roger S. Conrad on Oct. 9, 2023

Let’s not sugarcoat it: Utility stocks are having one of their worst years in quite a while. And the going has been even worse for a whole host of companies in the Utility Report Card coverage universe, especially renewable energy stocks and almost all small-to-mid-sized communications companies. The damage is there to see in this issue’s URC comments, which highlight total returns for the first nine months of 2023.

Dividend Cuts Priced in But None This Month

By Roger S. Conrad on Oct. 9, 2023

Normally, when a stock drops nearly 60 percent in just three weeks to yield more than 15 percent, you can bet a dividend cut is on the way. These, however, are no ordinary times in utility world. And a lower payout is far from a foregone conclusion for NextEra Energy Partners (NYSE: NEP). In late September, parent NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE) cancelled a planned asset sale or “drop down” to Partners, citing tough capital market conditions that didn’t make sense to ignore. To make up for the lost proceeds, it instead announced the $923.4 million sale of its non-core Florida natural gas utility unit to Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE: CPK). And to compensate for the lost revenue to Partners, it cut the affiliate’s projected dividend growth rate to 6 percent from the previous 12 percent.

Utilities, Renewable Energy and Dividend Stocks: Lessons From the Fall

By Roger S. Conrad on Oct. 9, 2023

For the 10th time in the post-World War II period, the S&P Utilities Index has dropped by more than -20 percent from its previous all-time high—reached in September 2022. Last month’s feature article highlighted key headwinds facing utilities and essential service stocks this year—and reasons why I didn’t think we’d seen the worst of this now more than year-old downturn.



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