Friday, December 19, 2014

Stock Analysis of Consolidated Edison

Consolidated Edison, Inc. (ED) is engaged in regulated electric, gas, and steam delivery businesses in the United States. The company, through its subsidiary, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., provides electric services to approximately 3.4 million customers in New York City and Westchester County; gas to approximately 1.1 million customers in Manhattan, the Bronx, and parts of Queens and Westchester County; and steam to approximately 1,703 customers in parts of Manhattan This dividend champion has paid dividends since 1885 and managed to increase them for 40 years in a row.

The company has managed to deliver an 4.30% average increase in annual EPS over the past decade. Con Edison is expected to earn $3.78 per share in 2014 and $3.90 per share in 2015. In comparison, the company earned $3.61/share in 2013.In the past decade, the number of shares outstanding increased from 236 million in 2004 to 294 million in 2014. 

The annual dividend payment has increased by 1% per year over the past decade, which is lower than the growth in EPS. I would expect the dividend growth rate to be slightly higher to 2% for the near future, as the dividend payout ratio is more sustainable these days.

Currently, Con Edison looks attractively valued on the surface at 16.30 times forward earnings, and has a dividend yield of 4%. However, due to the low earnings and dividend growth, I am not planning to initiate a position in the company anytime soon. The shares only make sense for investors who really need current income today, but are fine if their dividend income loses purchasing power over time, and their ability to generate capital gains is extremely limited at best.

Read the Full Analysis over at Seeking Alpha

Full Disclosure: None

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