Top 15 Utilities: Portfolio Review

2/9/2015


Last year marked the first time our Top 15 Utilities portfolio lagged its benchmark, the S&P 1500 Utility Sector Index, since 2007. In the six years from 2008 through 2013, our utilities delivered a total return of 72.8%, versus 23.4% for the benchmark. In 2014 the Top 15 returned 27.1%, versus 27.4% for its benchmark.

As underperformance goes, that's not bad — and so far this year we're up 3.2% versus 1.9% for the benchmark. Since the start of 2007, our portfolio has returned 153.4%, versus 86.7% for the index.

The Top 15 Utilities portfolio is designed for investors who seek income from their stocks and like the perceived stability of utilities. Rather than limit ourselves to just one or two top utilities (we don't trust any individual companies in the sector that much), we advise readers to hold equal-dollar amounts of all 15. The 15 stocks run the gamut from plain-vanilla regulated utilities to companies with a mix of regulated and nonregulated units to a propane distributor structured as a master limited partnership (MLP). For more on MLPs, see the Income Spotlight story.

For the latest stats on our preferred utillites, click here.

TOP 15 UTILITIES
3-Year
Dividend
Growth
(Annual.)
(%)
Total Returns
------------- Quadrix Scores -------------
Company (Price; Ticker)
Div.
($)
Yield
(%)
Payout
Ratio
(%)
6
Months
(%)
12
Months
(%)
Value
Overall
12-
Factor
Sector
Reranked
Overall
Industry
AGL Resources
($57; GAS)
1.96
3.5
3
47
14
25
76
81
79
99
Natural Gas
Allete ($57; ALE)
2.02
3.5
3
66
22
22
56
69
85
89
Electric
Alliant Energy
($68; LNT)
2.20
3.2
6
63
24
38
44
64
51
64
Electric
AmeriGas ($52; APU)
3.52
6.8
6
117
20
31
63
74
52
96
Natural Gas
Atmos Energy
($57; ATO)
1.56
2.7
4
54
21
25
56
71
73
86
Natural Gas
Avista ($37; AVA)
1.27
3.4
5
63
21
36
52
54
58
53
Diversified
CMS Energy ($37; CMS)
1.16
3.1
9
66
31
40
45
48
63
26
Diversified
DTE Energy ($89; DTE)
2.76
3.1
4
62
25
36
49
44
25
25
Diversified
Empire District Electric
($30; EDE)
1.04
3.4
(7)
63
28
41
52
60
62
73
Electric
Idacorp ($67; IDA)
1.88
2.8
13
51
30
36
46
57
11
48
Electric
Laclede Group
($55; LG)
1.84
3.4
3
60
21
27
46
48
37
42
Natural Gas
Otter Tail ($31; OTTR)
1.21
3.8
1
67
17
20
72
65
64
85
Diversified
Scana ($63; SCG)
2.10
3.3
3
55
30
42
54
75
81
95
Diversified
UGI ($37; UGI)
0.87
2.3
4
44
19
38
61
49
84
34
Diversified
Westar Energy
($43; WR)
1.40
3.3
3
60
21
36
51
39
47
12
Electric
Top 15 Utilities
Average
3.5
4
63
23
33
55
60
58
62
S&P 1500 Utility
Sector Average
3.2
4
61
20
29
54
53
52
47
Note: Quadrix scores are percentile ranks, with 100 the best.

 

 


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