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Executive Summary

Talking Utility Stocks

By Roger S. Conrad on Dec. 6, 2015

I’m hosting an exclusive online chat for Conrad’s Utility Investor subscribers at 2 p.m. ET Wednesday, Dec. 9. The format is simple: You ask me any questions on your mind; I stay online until all questions are answered. And don’t worry if you can’t stick around for the entirety of this marathon discussion; a transcript of the proceedings will be available the next morning.

We’ll discuss macro developments or specific stocks covered in my Utility Report Card—whatever’s on your mind.

Given the severe downdraft in oil and gas prices since summer 2014, I expect to receive a lot of questions about our outlook for these commodities and midstream energy names that own pipelines and other infrastructure.

The indiscriminate selling of these stocks has propelled yields into the stratosphere, reflecting concerns about volumetric and counterparty risks and questions about these companies’ ability to grow or even sustain their distributions.

With the debt and equity markets effectively closed for many energy stocks, funding remaining growth projects will be a challenge.

Although master limited partnerships (MLP) and other midstream operators face real challenges, the selloff afflicting these names has engulfed survivors whose growth prospects remain intact. As always, indiscriminate selling creates opportunities for discriminating investors.

This month’s feature article highlights my top pick in each of the nine industry groups tracked in my Utility Report Card as well as names that you should avoid at all costs. We also revisit Kinder Morgan (NYSE: KMI) in the light of the company’s recent press release indicating that the firm will reevaluate its dividend policy for next year.

 

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