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Power Play

Utility stocks have gone back to basics.

By Dian Vujovich

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In the days before deregulation of the utility industry,electric and gas stocks provided investors with a steady incomestream that ranked low on investment stress. That all changedduring the hotshot '90s, as many utility companies bought intobusinesses they knew little or nothing about, liketelecommunications or home security. Now the tide has turned, andgas and electric companies are getting back to what they knowbest-power.

"Many [utilities] went into risky businesses and lost astheir share values dropped," says Barry Abramson, co-portfoliomanager of the Gabelli Utilities Fund (GABUX). "The managementthat survived learned their lessons, and now many are in bettershape with a 'back to the basics' businessstrategy."

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