#5: Pepco Holdings
Like Entergy, Pepco (POM) has been at the mercy of market forces more than usual this year, leaving shares down 2% so far in 2013.
It’s tough to be an electric utility at a time of rock-bottom prices for natural gas. It also doesn’t help that the market is punishing dividend stalwarts like REITs and utilities over fears the Fed could taper its bond-buying program. The resulting rise in bond yields has made dividend stocks somewhat less attractive.
Beyond that, Pepco didn’t wow anyone with its latest earnings report. Earning were up, but revenue was down — and the company essentially cut its full-year outlook. Unseasonably mild weather did take a toll on sales of electricity, but at least Pepco managed to grow profits by lowering operating and maintenance costs.
Most importantly, Pepco is good for its dividend, especially with a cash pile that more than doubled to $75 million in the most recent quarter.