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Investing Topics: Utility Stocks

Top Three Utility Takeover Plays

By Roger S. Conrad on Feb. 10, 2016
The utility sector has been a hotbed of merger and acquisition activity over the past 12 months, with several major electricity producers acquiring gas distribution businesses in blockbuster deals. Conrad’s Utility Investor readers reaped windfall profits on Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) and Hawaiian Electric Industries (NYSE: HE), both of which received handsome takeover offers. Deal flow in the utility sector will remain robust in 2016. Here are five of our top takeover plays, all of which we wouldn’t mind owning even if they remain independent.  

What You Need to Know about Dominion Resources’ Acquisition of Questar Corp

By Roger S. Conrad on Feb. 1, 2016
Dominion Resources (NYSE: D) announced the utility sector’s first major takeover for this year, reaching an agreement to acquire Utah-based Questar Corp (NYSE: STR) for $25 per share, or about $4.4 billion.

New Year, Same Challenges

By Roger S. Conrad on Jan. 11, 2016
For the 39th time since 1969, the Dow Jones Utilities Average rallied in the fourth quarter. But this upside didn’t prevent the benchmark from finishing the year with a 3.1 percent loss, the index’s first negative return after a positive January since 1987. Fortunately, the primary catalyst for the loss—uncertainty about when the Federal Reserve would start raising interest rates—no longer exists. And just like the beginning of the 2004-06 tightening cycle, utility stocks have gained ground despite weakness in the broader market. But last year’s challenges remain in play for 2016. Energy prices have yet to find a bottom. Non-investment grade debt has become crushingly expensive to refinance, tightening capital markets for all but the strongest companies. Emerging markets continue to struggle. And any international currency not pegged to the US dollar find itself under pressure. The Quality Grades for the 214 essential-service companies tracked in our Utility Report Card provide insight into the spectrum of risk and help investors to avoid the riskiest names.

New Year, Time-Tested Strategy

By Roger S. Conrad on Jan. 11, 2016
By most measures, last year was a difficult time for income-seeking investors, as anticipation of the Federal Reserve’s first rate hike since 2006 weighed on sentiment toward dividend-paying stocks. Here’s our strategy for 2016.

Conference Reflections

By Roger S. Conrad on Nov. 16, 2015
We highlight some of the key investment themes that stood out after three days of presentations and talking to management teams at the Edison Electric Institute's annual financial conference.

A Sleep-Easy Strategy in Uncertain Times

By Roger S. Conrad on Nov. 7, 2015
Having confidence in your holdings’ underlying businesses makes it easier to endure a volatile market without losing too much sleep.

Best Opportunities in a Bear Market

By Roger S. Conrad on Nov. 7, 2015
Narrowing market leadership and other technical indicators suggest the risk of US equities sliding into a bear market next year has increased. We highlight some of the best opportunities in our coverage universe so that you know where to pounce when the time comes.

#AskRoger Utilities & Income – Episode No. 1

By Roger S. Conrad on Sep. 10, 2015
In this new YouTube video series “#AskRoger Utilities & Income,” Roger Conrad answers readers’ questions about utilities, income investing, dividends and more! If your question wasn’t answered this time, submit your comments on Twitter using the hashtag #AskRoger.

It Pays to Stick with Utility Stocks

By Roger S. Conrad on Sep. 4, 2015
Investors should take advantage of market volatility and fears of rising interest rates to establish or add to positions in high-quality utility stocks.  

3 Reasons Not to Sweat the Latest Taper Tantrum

By Roger S. Conrad on Jun. 17, 2015
Investors should focus on buying best-in-class utility stocks at reasonable valuations, instead of fretting over what the Federal Reserve may or may not do.

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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