Monday, February 22, 2010

What Natural Gas Company is 120 Years Old and Pays 4.8%?

There is a natural gas utility company that is the eighth oldest listed stock on the New York Stock Exchange, and celebrated its 120 year anniversary on December 7, 2009. In addition, it was one of the original stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, back in 1896. How's that for a track record.

And the name of the stock is Laclede Group Inc. (LG), formerly known as Laclede Gas Company. This is a natural gas utility that yields 4.8%, and has a forward price to earnings ratio of 12.8. The company pays out $35.17 million in dividends, extremely well covered by the company's operating cash flow of $245.95 million. The company has increased its dividend every year since 2003.

Of course, there are plenty of other natural gas and propane gas utilities. has turned up 25 gas utilities with yields ranging from 2% to as high as 8.8%, such as Nicor (GAS) yielding 4.6%, Spectra Energy (SE) yielding 4.6%, and Chesapeake Utilities (CPK) yielding 4.2%.

You might also consider investing in electric utilities, which also pay fairly high yields, many in excess of 5%.

To see a list of 25 gas utilities, you can get a free downloadable Excel database of natural gas and propane stocks at

Author does not own any of the above.


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