Cutting debt, strategic M&A and regulatory breakthroughs were “in” last year. High levels of debt and renewable energy were “out.” That’s the verdict of my annual roundup of utility and essential services company returns, highlighted in this month’s Utility Report Card. Divergence between individual companies in 2023 was roughly the same as in 2022, with 216.2 percentage points separating the top and bottom of my table “Best and Worst of 2023” versus 206.6 a year ago. And thanks to a pair of massive sector out-performances, my 2023 picks narrowly edged the pans—with both groups topping the Dow Jones Utility Average by more than 20 percentage points.
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