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Utility Stocks

Utility stocks are the ultimate investment for risk-averse investors seeking to create passive income streams via reliable dividends. Utility stocks can be an essential component of your portfolio as they will not only keep your income steady during dangerous economic times, they are usually the first to soar out of recessionary times.

The Utility Stocks archive below includes the latest commentary and analysis on the most important developments affecting the essential services sectors, including water, communications, energy, and other key infrastructure industries. Find out which utility stocks are poised to benefit from ongoing developments in the utility sector and which to avoid.

Be sure to also check out our free report, Dividend Blacklist: 6 Utility Stocks You Should Sell Today to find out if your dividend is in danger.

Water Works

Without it, life stops. Yet unless you live in a particularly arid region, chances are you’re like most Americans, taking the availability of abundant, clean and cheap water for granted.

NuStar Energy LP

NuStar Energy LP (NYSE: NS) basically trades where it did when I added it to the UF Portfolio in late 2006. Revenue, however has quadrupled, and cash flow has doubled. The dividend has increased more than 20 percent.

Return of the Advocate

United Illuminating (NYSE: UIL) reacted to the rejection of its rate hike like a spoiled child…threatening public safety and reliability. The state authorized an 8.75 percent profit, an enviable rate of return…” That’s a direct quote from Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, as he demanded state regulators launch an immediate investigation of the company’s recent cost cutting.

Telecom: Essential and Growing

Select communications stocks remain solid bets to weather what’s left of this recession. They’re also prime growth bets for the eventual recovery.

Cap-and-Trade: Closer to Fine

Being on the right side of government action is, therefore, absolutely essential to successful investing. In fact, with an unabashedly activist government now ruling both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, it’s more critical than ever.

Stressed Out

The market always looks ahead, never behind. The worst sin is always uncertainty, particularly when it affects literally every investment across the board as it has over the last nine months or so. What many forget is that getting out of such a funk doesn’t always take real, honest-to-goodness positive news. In fact, in the worst crises, all it may take is just a little certainty about where the bottom may be. Real good news is a major bonus.

Connecting to Profits

The telephone has been essential for decades. Even in the toughest times, service demand has continued to rise, and consumers and businesses have stayed connected and paid their bills, right along with electricity, heat and water.

Atlantic Power Corp

Shares of Atlantic Power Corp (TSX: ATP-U, OTC: ATPWF) have been on a wild ride since the credit crisis ratcheted up last summer. However, that’s a stark contrast with the rock-steady business results of the owner of 14 power plants and California’s Path 15 power line.

CMS Energy

From Three Mile Island to the Enron meltdown, utilities have always recovered from disaster by cutting debt and operating risk and repairing regulatory relations. CMS Energy’s (NYSE: CMS) road back from near bankruptcy in 2002 has been a rocky one.

Debt and Carbon

First quarter earnings aren’t all in yet, but indications are utilities are still weathering the worst recession in decades. One reason is having their strongest balance sheets since the 1960s, enabling companies to roll over debt at reasonable interest rates. Even at the height of the fall financial crisis, utilities with credit ratings of A- and higher were issuing bonds.

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