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Executive Summary

What To Expect in Second Half 2018

By Roger S. Conrad on Jul. 3, 2018

First half 2018 is in the books. Like the broad stock market, CUI Portfolio and coverage universe stocks experienced a great deal of sound and fury, most of which amounted to very little.

The feature article highlights key trends for the nine sub-sectors represented in the Utility Report Card, and updates performance of the picks and pans from the January issue. Portfolio Update analyzes the basically flat showing of our Conservative, Aggressive and Top 10 DRIPs recommendations.

Considering last year’s strong gains and the general market turmoil so far in 2018, breakeven isn’t a particularly poor result. We’ve also taken advantage of volatility to add high quality companies to the Portfolios at good prices: Comcast Corp (NSDQ: CMCSA), Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE) and TerraForm Power (NSDQ: TERP).

This month’s featured stocks AT&T Inc (NYSE: T) and Telefonica SA (Spain: TEF, NYSE: TEF) present an equally compelling opportunity to buy low. And like the above trio, they offer big potential second half gains, as headwinds depressing returns lose their force.

Each is likely to get a boost sometime in the next several weeks after releasing solid second quarter results and guidance. And I’ll recap highlights and share my analysis in Utility Report Card as they report.

Utility investors are also going to want to watch approaching November 2018 elections. Media focus will be on the battle for control of Congress. But as always, state results are what’s critical for our coverage universe. That’s because governors and state legislatures make the laws and appoint the regulators who set utilities’ investment and returns.

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