American Utility Companies



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American Utility companies have often been seen as a safe investment for stable dividend income

Today we are comparing several large US utility companies based on their yield, market cap, price/book metric, price/earnings, beta, volatility, price swings, CAPS rating and more.

The yielding US utilities we have chosen to compare are Ameren, Black Hills, Consolidated Edison Holdings, FirstEnergy, Scana Corp, Southern Corp. , and Unisource Energy.

In terms of price, they all have market caps over 1 Bln with the southern company having by far the highest at 25 Billion. Market share prices are all fairly similar and at valuations perceived to be stable.

 

P/E ratios are all at values between 9-14. Our analysis deems these values to be acceptable for investing in utilities. southern Company has the highest P/B value which may be a reflection of the perceived value of the large market cap. Most have fairly low beta values which is good for investors seeking dividend income with little or no volatility.

Dividend income

Each of these companies pays a dividend and this is most important to large cap utility investors. These are not growth companies generally, so the size of the dividend they pay is your and their bread and butter. The payout ratio is also important here. Unisource energy is the clear winner when it come to payout ratio vs dividend yield. With a yield of 5% and a payout ratio at a paltry 39% they are paying a very nice and stable dividend to investors.

Below we have charts that show the exact comparisons of these companies in Chart format. Please read them with caution and always read our disclaimer.

As a Canadian investor, as a final note, you need to keep in mind the tax status of dividends from these companies. As always a Canadian corporation might be a better investment if you are looking for Utility yielding stocks!

 

Graphical comparisons of the Utility Companies

price eps P/E cap P/B beta high low 2000 price dif diff
Ameren  AEE-N (US$)  25.57 2.79 9.16 6,058 0.75 0.75 50 20 36 -0.28972
Black Hills  BKH-N (US$)  28.91 2.32 12.46 1,124 1.04 1.1 41 15 22 0.314091
Consolidated Edison Holdings  ED-N (US$)  43.74 3.16 13.84 12,273 1.2 0.3 51 33 35 0.249714
FirstEnergy Corp.  FE-N (US$)  39.76 3.32 11.98 12,120 1.42 0.5     23 0.728696
Progress Energy Inc.  PGN-N (US$)  38.69 3 12.9 10,819 1.14 0.4 51 32   #DIV/0!
Scana Corp.  SCG-N (US$)  36.88 2.85 12.94 4,541 1.33 0.6 42 27 27 0.365926
Southern Company  SO-N (US$)  32.36 2.33 13.89 25,895 1.74 0.35 35 27 20 0.618
Unisource Energy  UNS-N (US$)  31.09 2.67 11.64 1,112 1.48 0.73 39 22 15 1.072667

 

div yr 2009 div 2000 div inc dec DEBT EQ DIV YEILD DIV payout % CAPS
Ameren  0.82 8.15 6.3 1.534 2.54 -0.396 1.01 6 59.62 2
Black Hills  0.95 7.64 4.21 1.446 #DIV/0! 1.12 5 67.68 5
Consolidated Edison Holdings  1.24 8.72 5.73 2.406 2.16 0.1138 1.01 5.5 75.34 3
FirstEnergy Corp.  1.66 11.8 6.53 2.187 1.5 0.4579 1.74 5.5 67.74 3
Progress Energy Inc.  1.21 8.35 6.4 2.484 #DIV/0! 1.36 6.42 91.61 4
Scana Corp.  1.36 11.1 - 1.91 1.15 0.6612 - 5.18 64.84 4
Southern Company  1.79 11.7 6.99 1.754 1.34 0.3089 1.28 5.42 81.17 4
Unisource Energy  1.53 14.6 7.8 1.555 0.32 3.8578 2.46 5 39.8 5

 

Data current as of summer 2010. No positions at the moment.