Sunday, December 26, 2010

Get a Charge Out of High Yield Electric Utilities

There are many factors affecting the revenues and earnings of electric utilities. The sway of the Public Utilities Commissions, the source of fuel to run the generators along with the cost of the fuel, the efficiency of the organization, growth in the area served from both commercial and residential (don't see much of that lately), and many other factors. But if investors want a simple way of finding which electric utility stocks are successful with many of these issues, one way is to check and see if the companies have increased their dividend.

One example is OGE Energy Corp. (OGE), which pays one of the lowest yields of the top 30 electric utilities at 3.3% but has been increasing its dividend over time, providing annual increases since 2006. The company announced this month that it is increasing its annual dividend to $1.50 per share from $1.45 per share, effective the first quarter of 2011. OGE, which provides electricity in Oklahoma and western Arkansas, trades at 15 times forward earnings.

DPL Inc. (DPL) is another utility with a rising track record, increasing the quarterly dividend from $0.3025 to $0.3325 per common share this month, giving the stock a great CD beating yield of 4.6%. Dividends has risen every year since 2003. The stock has a forward price to earnings ratio of 10.8.

Edison International (EIX) also announced an increase in the annual dividend, from $1.26 per share to $1.28 per share. Dividends have been boosted since 2004. The stock trades at 12.8 times forward earnings and pays a yield of 3.3%.

To see a free Excel list of all the top yield electric utility stocks which can be downloaded, sorted, and updated, go to

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


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