FirstEnergy (FE) is down 16% since Nov. 8. The stock has a current dividend yield of 4.5% and a forward P/E of less than 12, below most other dividend stocks in the utility sector.
On the face of it, FE appears to be a strange choice given the company’s decision last month to cut its annual dividend from $2.20 per share to $1.44. However, much of the savings will be used to upgrade transmission infrastructure — particularly in regulated utilities in Ohio.
The company, whose earnings have been blistered by low natural gas prices, has reworked its business model to focus more on boosting profitability in its regulated utility operations. That’s a solid strategy for FE, given the state of the energy market. Also, the bad news has been priced in, providing a potentially attractive entry point for investors.