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9 Brightly Shining Utility Stocks

Electricity powers everything from homes to the computer you use to read clever stock picks. Water and gas also make life comfortable, if not plain livable. Although this year has been unkind to investors looking for stability in the market, the utilities sector has at least given them a reason to enter 2012 with renewed hope and energy. What can be more stable than the power used to make the world go round?

I watch more than 5,000 publicly traded companies with my Portfolio Grader tool, ranking companies by a number of fundamental and quantitative measures. And this week, nine utilities companies are shining bright.

Here they are, in alphabetical order. Each one of these stocks gets an “A” or “B” according to my research, meaning it is a “strong buy” or “buy.”

American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) is a holding company that owns power companies across the county. In 2011, AEP has posted a return of more than 10%. AEP gets a “B” for operating margin growth and an “A” for earnings momentum in my Portfolio Grader tool. For more information, view my complete analysis of AEP stock.

CenterPoint Energy (NYSE:CNP) is a public utility holding company, best known for its operating company CenterPoint Houston. Year-to-date, CNP stock is up 21%, while the broader markets have posted modest returns. CNP stock gets an “A” for operating margin growth, an “A” for earnings growth, an “A” for earnings momentum, an “A” for its ability to exceed the consensus earnings estimates on Wall Street and a “B” for return on equity in my Portfolio Grader tool. For more information, view my complete analysis of CNP stock.

Constellation Energy Group (NYSE:CEG) is best known for its three subsidiaries: NewEnergy, Generation, and Baltimore Gas and Electric. Year-to-date, CEG stock has posted an impressive gain of 30%. CEG stock gets an “A” for earnings momentum and an “A” for its ability to exceed the consensus earnings estimates on Wall Street in my Portfolio Grader tool. For more information, view my complete analysis of CNP stock.

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) is split into the following three segments: Electric and Gas, Commercial Power and International Energy. Year-to-date, DUK stock has seen an increase of 18%, compared to a gain of 2% for the Dow Jones. DUK stock gets an “A” for operating margin growth, a “B” for earnings momentum and a “B” for the magnitude in which earnings projections have increased over the past month in my Portfolio Grader tool. For more information, view my complete analysis of DUK stock.

Exelon Corp. (NYSE:EXC) has posted a modest return of 4% year-to-date. EXC stock gets a “B” for the magnitude in which earnings projections have increased over the past month and a “B” for return on equity in my Portfolio Grader tool. For more information, view my complete analysis of EXC stock.

FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE:FE) is another holding company that owns eight energy companies in the U.S. Like other big utility stocks, FE has posted a big gain in 2011 — about 20%. FE gets a “B” for sales growth, an “A” for earnings momentum, an “A” for earnings growth, a “B” for its ability to exceed consensus earnings estimates on Wall Street and a “B” for the magnitude in which earnings projections have increased over the past month in my Portfolio Grader tool. For more information, view my complete analysis of FE stock.

PPL Corp. (NYSE:PPL) is an energy and utility holding company. A 10% gain for PPL this year has kept shareholders happy. PPL gets an “A” for sales growth, an “A” for operating margin growth, a “B” for earnings momentum, a “B” for its ability to exceed consensus earnings estimates on Wall Street, a “B” for the magnitude in which earnings projections have increased over the past month, and a “B” for return on equity in my Portfolio Grader tool. For more information, view my complete analysis of PPL stock.

Southern Co. (NYSE:SO) owns numerous power companies across the southern U.S. SO stock has posted a gain of nearly 17% year-to-date. SO gets a “B” for earnings momentum, a “B” for the magnitude in which earnings projections have increased during the past month and a “B” for return on equity in my Portfolio Grader tool. For more information, view my complete analysis of SO stock.

Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE:XEL) is a holding company whose subsidiaries provide electric and natural gas to customers in eight states. Since the start of 2011, XEL stock has gained 12%. XEL stock gets a “B” for earnings momentum and a “B” for the magnitude in which earnings projections have increased during the past month in my Portfolio Grader tool. For more information, view my complete analysis of XEL stock.

Get more analysis of these picks and other publicly traded stocks with Louis Navellier’s Portfolio Grader tool, a 100% free stock-rating tool that measures both quantitative buying pressure and eight fundamental factors.


Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, https://investorplace.com/2011/12/9-utility-stocks-to-buy/.

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