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Investing Topics: Electric Utilities

2Q News: Reduced Dividend Risk All Around

By Roger S. Conrad on Aug. 30, 2013

August was a down month for utilities and other essential services companies—likewise the broad stock market. That continues a trend beginning in late April, when fears first stirred of an end to Federal Reserve easing.

Since then, the Fed has not changed policy. But the markets have acted as though much higher interest rates are a done deal. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury Note yield has nearly doubled. And expectations are we’ll see it at 4 to 5 percent, as the precursor to a dramatic, across the board rise in rates.

Four Trends to Bet On

By Roger S. Conrad on Aug. 30, 2013

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.

Doubling Down on Patience

By Roger S. Conrad on Aug. 30, 2013

Investors are dumping dividend-paying stocks of strong companies due to misplaced fears about interest rate sensitivity. That’s opening up new opportunities in our favorite stocks, but be patient with prices.

Southern Company

By Roger S. Conrad on Aug. 30, 2013

Southern Company (NYSE: SO) currently sits near a new 52-week low. The reason: A combination of investor worries about rising interest rates and concern about its substantial capital spending program.

Report on Q2 Earnings: Few Surprises

By Roger S. Conrad on Aug. 27, 2013

There weren't any big surprises in our Focus List earnings reports this quarter, which is the way we like it. But there are a lot of bargains in all three portfolios that you can move into now. The story of essential service stocks is just beginning.

Solid Foundations

By Roger S. Conrad on Jul. 29, 2013

Discipline, consistency and hard work don’t always guarantee success. But they're the necessary foundation of every winning investment strategy.

Due for a Pullback But Positioned for the Long Term

By Roger S. Conrad on Jul. 25, 2013

Utility stocks might be due for a pullback, but the risks that rising interest rates pose to the sector are overblown.

Warning: Falling Payouts

By Roger S. Conrad on Jul. 24, 2013

Nothing destroys shareholder value like a dividend cut. Not only do you lose a portion of your monthly income, but a falling share price can also saddle you with significant capital losses. These are the dividend-paying stocks that are most dangerous to your wealth.

Three Trends That Will Shape the Rest of 2013

By Roger S. Conrad on Jul. 24, 2013

Stepped up targeting of dividend-paying stocks, runaway momentum widening the gap between loved and unloved stocks, and shifting odds of recovery in essential service company investment: These three trends have increasingly shaped returns since spring. And odds are good they’ll continue to the rest of the year.

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ABOUT ROGER CONRAD

Roger S. Conrad needs no introduction to individual and professional investors, many of whom have profited from his decades of experience uncovering the best dividend-paying stocks for accumulating sustainable wealth. Roger b