Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Recovery from the Natural Gas Explosion

A couple weeks ago, a horrific natural gas explosion took place in San Bruno, California, just south of San Francisco near the San Francisco International Airport. There were several deaths and an enormous amount of property losses and destroyed homes. The area is served by PG & E Corp. (PCG). Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Barbara Boxer have sponsored a bill to create strict new pipeline safety standards and increase the number of federal inspectors.

Although a tragedy, major natural gas explosions like this are not very common. Natural gas has a few benefits over oil, especially in the green area, as natural gas generates a lower carbon footprint. It also has a long history as a fuel; as a matter of fact, one of the original Dow Jones Industrial Average stocks from the 1800's is a natural gas distributor that is still trading today, Laclede Group Inc. (LG).

The natural gas utility companies pay fairly high yields. For example, Energy Transfer Partners L.P. (ETP) is a publicly traded limited partnership that processes, transports, and sells natural gas. The stock does have a fairly high price to earnings ratio of 37, but pays a generous yield of 7.4%. The company has been paying quarterly since 1997.

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (CPK) is a provider of natural gas distribution services in Delaware, Maryland, and Florida, has a PE ratio of 13 and pays a yield of 3.8%. has just released its updated list of high yield natural gas utility stocks, which can be accessed for free. There are twenty different stocks with yields above 3%.

Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time the article was written.


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