First Energy (FE)
FirstEnergy (FE) is one of the nation’s largest publicly owned utilities. But scale hasn’t spared FirstEnergy from big declines, and investing in the theoretically stable business of an electric utility hasn’t saved FE stock holders from a lost five years.
First, the company suffered some horrible press in the early 2000s after blackouts darkened New York City and other regions, and as a result FirstEnergy plowed a boatload of cash into upgrades. A costly company reorganization also struck at the same time that commodity prices started putting added pressure on the bottom line.
Debt has gone through the roof, revenue has been pressured and the company actually has been looking at unloading some hydroelectric plants to raise cash and streamline operations further.
More recently, FE stock is down more than 20% in the past year. Its dividend yield after this crash is attractive at 4.7%, but whether FirstEnergy is stable enough to keep its share price steady and maintain that payout still remains an open question.