Monday, October 22, 2018

4 High-Yielding Utilities With A Growing Dividends

Long considered the domain of “widows and orphans”, utilities have developed a somewhat stodgy reputation. Why are utilities considered good for widows and orphans?

Here a few reasons: 1. They are generally less volatile than the market as a whole (low beta). 2. Their products are something that people continue to need and use no matter what the economy is doing, thus, 3. Their dividends tend to be more stable and secure.

Utilities would be the perfect dividend income investment, except for one thing – they tend to have a very low dividend growth rate. As such, you wouldn’t want a whole portfolio of utilities and you need to be very selective in which utilities are included in your portfolio, and when they are purchased.

The dividend growth rate is a key metric in many calculations. As such, I use a conservative estimate as follows: The minimum dividend growth rate of the 1, 3, 5, 7, 10 year compound annual growth rate or 15%, if dividends grew on average in excess of 15% for each consecutive 4 year period, within the last 10 years of history.

This week, I screened my dividend growth stocks database for utilities with a yield at or above 4% and a dividend growth rate above 1%. The results are presented below:

Dominion Resources, Inc. (D) is one of the largest producers and transporters of energy in the U.S., Dominion also operates the largest natural gas storage system and serves retail energy customers in 15 states. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1925 and has increased its dividend payments for 15 consecutive years. Yield: 4.7% | Dividend Growth Rate: 7.4%

Duke Energy Corp. (DUK) merged with Progress Energy in mid-2012, and is the largest electric power holding company in the U.S., serving more than 7 million customers in six states. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1926 and has increased its dividend payments for 14 consecutive years. Yield: 4.6% | Dividend Growth Rate: 2.0%

PP&L Corporation (PPL) is a holding company for electric utilities in Pennsylvania and Kentucky also owns utilities in the U.K. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1946 and has increased its dividend payments for 18 consecutive years. Yield: 5.4% | Dividend Growth Rate: 1.8%

Southern Company (SO) is an Atlanta-based energy holding company and is one of the largest producers of electricity in the U.S. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1948 and has increased its dividend payments for 17 consecutive years. Yield: 5.4% | Dividend Growth Rate: 3.4%

As with past screens, the data presented above is in its raw form. Some of the the companies would be disqualified for poor dividend fundamentals. However some of the others may be worth additional due diligence.

My database, D4L-Data, is an Open Office spreadsheet containing more than 20 columns of information on the 200+ companies that I track. The data is sortable and has built-in buttons and macros to make it easy to use. Companies included in the list are those that have had a history of dividend growth. The D4L-Data spreadsheet is a part of D4L-Premium Services and is updated each Saturday for subscribers.

Full Disclosure: Long DUK, SO.

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(Photo: Stock.XCHNG)

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