Surging prices for anything to do with renewable energy, lagging valuations for virtually everything else: That’s the current state of affairs for the Utility Report Card coverage as companies gear up to release results for now finished Q3.
Over the last 12 months, an investment in the Russell 1000 Growth Index has outperformed an identical stake in the Russell 1000 Value Index by more than 40 percentage points. That’s not just unprecedented outperformance. It’s unsustainable: Sooner or later, either value stocks will catch up with a strong rally, or growth will fall back.
Q2 results and guidance updates are in for roughly nine in ten companies in our Utility Report Card coverage universe. And they’re in for 35 of the 40 represented in the Model Portfolios. I’ll send an Alert if the view changes for the handful left to report.
Q2 earnings reporting season is coming up fast. And while no one is projecting blockbuster gains, certain baseline expectations must be met, and preferably beaten. Regulated utilities with posted earnings guidance offer the easiest benchmarks for gauging progress. Those updating in the past month offer the best odds of avoiding nasty surprises, always key to dodging downside.
Stocks’ recovery since late March looks a lot more like a “V” than it did a month ago. And after breaking through resistance this month, the S&P 500 is now just 6.3 percent from making a new all-time high.
Utility stocks have also perked up lately. As a group, they’ve lagged since mid-April. Nonetheless, we’ve seen some spectacular recoveries among Portfolio holdings.
Most CUI Portfolio stocks have run in place since the April issue. But the past month has been far from uneventful, with 34 of 38 recommended companies reporting their first results and guidance updates since COVID-19 fallout hit the scene.
In investing, it’s common for good years to follow good years, and great years often follow average or poor ones. But historically great years like what we’ve just enjoyed at Conrad’s Utility Investor rarely if ever come back to back.
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