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.
The contrast in the Dow Utility Average has been even greater. Over the past five years, index member NiSource (NYSE: NI) is up over 129 percent, while Exelon (NYSE: EXC) has lost more than 60 percent of its value. And the 48 US and foreign telecoms I cover have done everything from double investors’ money to nearly wipe out their equity.
Essential service companies’ revenues, earnings and dividends are exceptionally steady, mainly because what they provide is always in demand. But as these returns show, no matter what the environment, some companies will grow while others flounder. It’s always a bull market for the best, and a bear for the worst.
Invest Smarter! Join Conrad’s Utility Investor!
Smart investing. Taking advantage of real opportunities and not fads (and knowing the difference). Finding the companies and stocks that will deliver for the long haul, so investing lets you live instead of investing turning into your life. Roger Conrad has dedicated his career to these principles—and that’s what Conrad's Utility Investor delivers.
Roger's favorite utilities for investors seeking superior price appreciation by taking calculated risks.
Harness the tried and true wealth-building power of rising dividends.
Nothing compounds wealth like reinvesting a rising stream of dividends.
Warning: Falling Dividends.
Roger's current take and vital statistics on more than 200 essential-services stocks.