No stock is a buy at any price. And even the best-run company can get so expensive that realizing additional upside becomes an almost impossible slog. That’s not been the case so far this bull market for the top players in the US utility sector. But if we’re not there yet, we’re getting very close to it.
There’s nothing quite like the adrenaline rush from a big short-term gain in a stock. My son Nate enjoyed that feeling this week by picking up on a Utility Report Card recommendation of El Paso Electric (NYSE: EE). This week, the stock surged when a JP Morgan fund offered $68.50 per share in cash for the company.
After a blazing first quarter 2019, shares of best in class utilities and essential services companies have largely stalled over the past month. Not only is the Dow Jones Utility Average within a point of where it was when the April issue went to post. But all month long, it never strayed more than a couple percentage points in either direction.
It’s been decades since utility stocks started a year this fast. But while the Dow Jones Utility Average’s 10 percent plus first quarter return is certainly preferable to what we saw last year, we suspect that staying cool after 2019’s hot start will prove critical as the rest of the year unfolds.
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Roger's current take and vital statistics on more than 200 essential-services stocks.