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Executive Summary

Difference Makers

By Roger S. Conrad on Feb. 11, 2019

For the 20th time since 1984, the Dow Jones Utility Average has posted positive January returns. Only in 1987 and 2015 did utilities fail to follow such a performance with an up year.

Two good reasons best in class companies should succeed in 2019: More modest valuations than a year ago and strong earnings. Utility Report Card has highlights and analysis for the roughly one-third of coverage universe companies that have reported calendar fourth quarter results. So far, most have come in at or ahead of where management was guiding.

There’s still a lot more news and numbers to come, including potentially make or break reports from several Conrad’s Utility Investor Portfolio recommendations. What we see will be even more critical for several Endangered Dividends List companies, which now sit on a knife’s edge between maintaining and cutting dividends.

This month, I’ve again focused the Feature article on the most promising highest yielders. Returns from the last time I tried this back in August were solid on balance but a mixed bag.

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