RWE AG (Germany: RWE, OTC: RWEOY) plans to cut its 2014 annual dividend (payable April 17) to one euro, from a previous rate of 2 euros. That’s the third dramatic cut in five years for the German power giant. And it may not be the last, given some uniquely challenging conditions.
Who says the bond market is washed out? Certainly not Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ).
The company’s record $49 billion bond sale has not only locked in financing for its $130 billion buyout of Vodafone Plc’s (London: VOD, NYSE: VOD) minority stake in Verizon Wireless. But it was actually doubled, eliminating the need to raise funds in Europe.
Big picture themes always grab investing headlines. Success, however, flows from knowing what’s up with individual companies.
Regulated water utilities, for example, are on their face the very simplest and uniform of businesses. Yet so far in 2013, returns from the 10 companies I track in the Utility Report Card have ranged from a 26 percent gain to barely breaking even.
It’s practically an article of faith among short sellers that betting against wireline phone companies is close to a sure thing.
That’s likely to prove disastrous, however, in the case of Consolidated Communications (NSDQ: CNSL), the only company in the sector not to cut its original dividend.
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Roger's current take and vital statistics on more than 200 essential-services stocks.