Can you guess what the oldest electric utility company in the United States is? Can you even guess what state has the oldest electric utility? According to BusinessHistory and EnergyOnline, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PCG) can trace its sources back to 1852, making it the oldest American utility. In the mid 1800's, the San Francisco Gas Company was founded. It later merged with the California Electric Light Co., which was founded in 1879 in San Francisco. This was the first electric power company with a central generating station to distribute electricity to multiple individual and business customers.
PG&E trades at 15 times current earnings and 11 times forward earnings, and pays a decent yield of 4.4%. Dividends are paid quarterly. Earnings for the latest quarter were up 8.7% year-over-year on a 14% increase in revenues.
Some of the great features of electric utilities are that they can generally provide relative security, safety, and stability compared to stocks in many other sectors, from the payment of fairly high dividends. WallStreetNewsNetwork.com just updated its list of electric utility stocks and there are more than a couple dozen with yields greater than 3%.
Duke Energy Corporation (DUK) has a price to earnings ratio of 12, a forward P/E ratio of 13, and sports a yield of 5.3%. This Charlotte, North Carolina based company had a 7.7% increase in quarterly revenues, and just increased its dividend slightly. The company reports earnings on October 24.
Integrys Energy Group, Inc. (TEG), based in Chicago, operates in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Canada. The stock trades at 16 times earnings and 14 times forward earnings. The stock pays a yield of 5.7%. Unfortunately, earnings for the latest quarter were down 63% on flat revenues.
If you want a free list of top yielding utilities, you can access a downloadable database of high yield electric utility stocks at WSNN.com, including a couple which yield more than 6%.
Disclosure: Author did not not own any of the above at the time the article was written.