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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.

Beyond $100 Oil

Is energy cheap or dear? Oil prices cut above the once-unthinkable level of $100 a barrel for the first time ever this week. One of the biggest questions as we move into 2008 is what kind of impact that will have on the wider markets and the US economy.

What’s Hot for 2008

It wasn’t a great year for the market. But 40 of 51 Portfolio holdings are up for the past 12 months. Utility fundamentals strengthened across the board, “green” turned to gold, and we reaped spoils from comeback companies and takeover candidates.

Utility Beat

Rising credit ratings or robust dividend growth, but not both: That’s been the rule for utilities since the 1960s. Last year, however, 142 How They Rate-listed utilities hiked distributions—75 percent of dividend payers—with 61 increasing at least 10 percent.

What’s Next for Utilities

This year, utilities put an accent mark on their resurgence. Not only is the Dow Jones Utilities Average up more than 20 percent, it’s made one new high after another at the same time recession fears have pummeled most high-yield investments.

Another Energy Bill

Is it a giant leap forward toward America’s energy independence or a grab bag for corporations and campaign contributions? The energy bill passed this week in Washington probably comes down somewhere in between.

Foreign Exposure

When the US economy and markets sneeze, the rest of the world catches a cold: That old investing adage has held for nearly a century, since this country first became dominant on the global scene after World War I. Conventional wisdom is it will hold this time around as well. But based on the numbers we’ve seen thus far, that’s far from certain.

All-Time Highs

Five years ago, utility stocks hit rock bottom in a once-a-generation bear market. It’s been the days of wine and roses ever since.

Utility Beat

Only 17 states and the District of Columbia support deregulated electric power markets. And California, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio and now New York are considering re-regulation.

Buying the Business

Flashy, single-season records wow most baseball fans. But I’ve always been more awed by longevity marks, like Cal Ripken’s consecutive games-played streak or the runs-batted-in record still held by that icon of perseverance, Hank Aaron.

Critical to a Functioning America

Aren’t you glad you own essential service stocks? Despite one of the most volatile, fear-driven markets in memory, shares of top-quality power, gas, water and communications companies are decidedly holding their own.

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