Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fish that Breath Air - How About People Without Water? Top Water Utilities

Did you know that there is a species of fish that can breath air? I'm not talking about mammals that live in the water, like dolphins and whales, I'm talking about real fish. According to the National Geographic, there is a newly discovered species of freshwater fish called the Arapaima leptosoma, which can be found in Brazil and Guyana. The fish can grow to a length of ten feet.

Unfortunately, there are no humans that can survive without water. They need water to drink, to prepare food, to grow food, to provide to animals which eventually become food for the humans, to water their lawn, to wash their car, to brush their teeth, to shower in, etc. You get the idea. We can't live without water.

So who provides us with this water? There are many government run municipal water utilities across the United States. But there are also over a dozen publicly traded water utility companies which provide water to residential and business customers, that are available to investors, based on the list at Most of these companies pay dividends.

For example, Middlesex Water Company (MSEX) is one of the higher yielding water utility stocks, paying 3.6%. The company distributes water to customers in parts of New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. The stock trades at 20.5 times trailing earnings and 20.8 times forward earnings. Earnings for the latest reported quarter ending June 30 were up an amazing 20.3%, on a 6.2% rise in revenues. Not bad for a utility stock. The company's next earnings report will be October 21. By the way, dividends have increased every year for this company since 2004.

Another dividend paying water utility stock is American States Water Company (AWR), which distributes water in 10 counties in the State of California. The stock trades at 18 times trailing earnings and 19.3  times forward earnings. The yield is a fairly decent 3.0%.

The York Water Company (YORW), which is based in York, Pennsylvania, yields 2.8%. The price earnings ratio is 27.6 and the forward P/E ratio is 23.

To see a list of all the water utility stocks that pay dividends, which includes the P/E, the forward P/E, the PEG, and the yield, go to

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


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