Nine times since the end of World War II, the S&P Utilities Index has dropped by more than -20 percent from its previous high. The most recent occurred over the space of just one month: February 2020 to March 2020 in the wake of the pandemic panic. Over the following 30 months or so, utilities generally moved higher greatly outperforming the broader stock market for most of 2022. But since then, headwinds have generally overwhelmed tailwinds, though the S&P Utilities to date has sustained less damage than any of the periods highlighted in my table “Utilities’ Post-War Ups and Downs.” This issue’s Utility Report Card comments highlight a key data point: Each company’s current price/earnings multiple, based on expected next 12 months earnings.
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