Fear-mongering pundits often point to Germany's energy policy to illustrate the risk that the boom in renewable-energy development poses to the US. Australia provides a better analogue for the US experience, though investors should understand the American energy landscape's unique features before placing their bets.
NextEra Energy Partners LP (NYSE: NEP)--a publicly traded partnership that specializes in renewable energy--has been a slam dunk since its initial public offering (IPO) on June 26. But at these levels, there are better plays in this industry.
Thanks to the rapid development of renewable energy and the support of state regulators, this utility has moved to break its addiction to imported oil, setting the stage for higher profits over the long term and lower bills for consumers.
Australia is blessed with immense resources wealth, geographic proximity to emerging Asia, a pro-business government in rough fiscal balance, conservative banking policies, a corporate ethos for paying generous dividends and a currency that keeps pace with global inflation pressures over the long haul.
In short, it’s ripe with high-income opportunities for discriminating investors. And with the US dollar up 14 percent against the Australian dollar this year, great companies are selling at a discount.
RWE AG (Germany: RWE, OTC: RWEOY) plans to cut its 2014 annual dividend (payable April 17) to one euro, from a previous rate of 2 euros. That’s the third dramatic cut in five years for the German power giant. And it may not be the last, given some uniquely challenging conditions.
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