Get All Access for $5/mo

3 Utility Stocks Offering Reliable Dividends The utility sector's defensive nature makes it popular among investors. In addition, the move to renewable energy, tech improvements, and grid modernization will fuel its long-term growth. Therefore, investors could...

By Abhishek Bhuyan

This story originally appeared on StockNews

The utility sector's defensive nature makes it popular among investors. In addition, the move to renewable energy, tech improvements, and grid modernization will fuel its long-term growth. Therefore, investors could look to buy fundamentally strong utility stocks such as UGI (UGI), Brookfield Infrastructure (BIPC), and Central Puerto (CEPU) that offer reliable dividends now. Read on.

The utility sector's outlook is strong, thanks to a global push for clean energy and substantial investments, especially in Asia, Europe, and North America. While the transition to renewable power varies by region, the essential services utilities provide - heat, water, and electricity - make the industry appealing to investors for its stability during economic downturns.

The transition toward cleaner energy sources is poised to fuel substantial long-term growth for utility companies. Utility stocks have emerged as a top choice for investors due to their inherent stability and consistent dividend payouts. Therefore, buying strong utility stocks UGI Corporation (UGI), Brookfield Infrastructure Corporation (BIPC), and Central Puerto S.A. (CEPU), which offer reliable dividends, could be wise.

The U.S. utility sector saw a strong start in the first quarter of 2024, adding 5,585 MW of new capacity, a 28% increase from the previous year. The sector's growth is driven by increased investments in renewable energy, anticipated interest rate impacts, regulatory developments at local levels, and rising electricity demand fueled by big data and AI technologies.

Furthermore, as utilities move away from fossil fuels, they can expect more stable costs and better profits without the ups and downs of fossil fuel prices. The global utilities market is predicted to grow at a rate of 6.8% annually, reaching $8.31 trillion by 2027. Investors’ interest in utility stocks is evident from the SPDR Select Sector Fund – Utilities’ (XLU) 13.5% returns over the past three months.

Considering these conducive trends, let’s analyze the fundamental aspects of the three utility picks.

UGI Corporation (UGI)

UGI and its subsidiaries distribute, store, transport, and market energy products and related services internationally. The company operates through four segments: AmeriGas Propane, UGI International, Midstream & Marketing, and UGI Utilities.

In terms of the trailing-12-month gross profit margin, UGI’s 48.83% is 9.60% higher than the 44.56% industry average. Likewise, its 5.65% trailing-12-month Return on Total Capital is 42.2% higher than the 3.97% industry average. Furthermore, the stock’s 0.48x trailing-12-month asset turnover ratio is 120.3% higher than the 0.22x industry average.

UGI has paid dividends for 36 consecutive years.  Its annual dividend is $1.50, which translates to a yield of 6.7% at the current share price. Its four-year average dividend yield is 4.22%. Moreover, the company’s dividend payouts have increased at a CAGR of 4% over the past three years.

UGI’s total revenues for the fiscal second quarter, which ended March 31, 2024, amounted to $2.47 billion. In addition, its adjusted net income attributable to UGI and adjusted EPS rose 16.5% and 17.3% year-over-year to $423 million and $ 1.97, respectively.

As of March 31, 2024, its total current liabilities amounted to $1.82 billion, compared to $2.27 billion as of March 31, 2023.

Street expects UGI’s EPS for the quarter ending December 31, 2024, to increase 5% year-over-year to $1.26. Its EPS for the quarter ending June 30, 2024, is expected to grow 4.3% year-over-year to $1.73 billion. Over the past six months, the stock has declined 3.9% to close the last trading session at $22.12. Its 24-month beta is 0.94.

UGI’s POWR Ratings reflect strong prospects. It has an overall rating of B, which translates to a Buy in our proprietary system. The POWR Ratings assess stocks by 118 different factors, each with its own weighting.

It is ranked first out of 60 stocks in the Utilities – Domestic industry. It has a B grade for Growth, Momentum, and Quality. Click here to see UGI’s ratings for Value, Stability, and Sentiment.

Brookfield Infrastructure Corporation (BIPC)

BIPC and its subsidiaries own and operate regulated natural gas transmission systems in Brazil. The company also engages in regulated gas and electricity distribution operations in the United Kingdom and electricity transmission and distribution and gas distribution in Australia.

In terms of the trailing-12-month Return on Total Capital, BIPC’s 11.21% is 182% higher than the 3.97% industry average. Likewise, its 15.13% trailing-12-month net income margin is 20.1% higher than the 12.60% industry average. Furthermore, the stock’s 81.64% trailing-12-month EBITDA margin is 122.8% higher than the 36.64% industry average.

BIPC pays an annual dividend of $1.62, which translates to a yield of 4.77% at the current share price. Its four-year average dividend yield is 3.35%. BIPC has paid dividends for the past three years.

For the fiscal first quarter ended March 31, 2023, BIPC’s total revenues rose 23% year-over-year to $5.19 billion. The company’s net income attributable to the partnership came in at $170 million, up 639.1% from the year-ago value. Its consolidated funds from operations rose 29.3% year-over-year to $1.47 billion. In addition, its FFO per unit came in at $0.78, representing an increase of 8.3% year-over-year.

For the quarter ending June 30, 2024, BIPC’s FFO is expected to increase 8.3% year-over-year to $0.78. Its revenue for fiscal 2024 is expected to increase 7.7% year-over-year to $19.30 billion. Over the past six months, the stock has declined marginally to close the last trading session at $33.97. Its 24-month beta is 0.90.

BIPC has a B grade for Growth and Quality. Within the Utilities – Domestic industry, it is ranked #3. To see BIPC’s ratings for Value, Momentum, Stability, and Sentiment, click here.

Central Puerto S.A. (CEPU)

Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, CEPU engages in electric power generation in Argentina. It operates through three segments: Electric Power Generation from Conventional Sources, Electric Power Generation from Renewable Sources, and Natural Gas Transport and Distribution.

On April 22, 2024, CEPU announced a C$10 million ($7.28 million) investment in AbraSilver Resource Corp. as part of a C$20 million ($14.55 million) strategic partnership with Kinross Gold to explore new projects in Argentina. They will also form advisory committees and plan to consolidate shares. CEPU's strategic partnership with Kinross Gold will enhance its presence in the Argentine mining sector by providing additional resources and expertise for successful project development.

In terms of the trailing-12-month EBIT margin, CEPU’s 23.70% is 11.2% higher than the 21.31% industry average. Likewise, its 44.76% trailing-12-month EBITDA margin is 22.2% higher than the 36.64% industry average. Furthermore, the stock’s 0.28x trailing-12-month asset turnover ratio is 27.4% higher than the 0.22x industry average.

CEPU’s annualized dividend of $0.91 per share translates to a dividend yield of 9.43% on the current share price. Its four-year average yield is 2.45%. Over the past five CEPU’s dividend payments have grown at CAGRs of 26.4%.

For the first quarter that ended March 31, 2024, CEPU’s revenues increased 21.9% year-over-year to ARS128.71 billion ($142.69 million). Similarly, its gross income increased 36.7% year-over-year to ARS55.89 billion ($61.96 million).

Moreover, its net income and EPS for the period grew significantly from the year-ago values to ARS27.50 billion ($30.48 million) and ARS15.77, respectively.

Analysts expect CEPU’s revenue for the fiscal year 2024 to increase 150% year-over-year to $925.98 million. Over the past nine months, the stock has gained 52.1% to close the last trading session at $9.60. Its 24-month beta is 0.24.

CEPU’s positive outlook is reflected in its POWR Ratings. It has an overall rating of B, equating to a Buy in our proprietary rating system.

It has an A grade for Value and Quality. It is ranked #4 out of 55 stocks in the Utilities - Foreign industry. Click here to see CEPU’s ratings for Growth, Momentum, Stability, and Sentiment.

What To Do Next?

43 year investment veteran, Steve Reitmeister, has just released his 2024 market outlook along with trading plan and top 11 picks for the year ahead.

2024 Stock Market Outlook >

 


UGI shares were trading at $22.57 per share on Friday afternoon, up $0.45 (+2.03%). Year-to-date, UGI has declined -6.88%, versus a 14.37% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.



About the Author: Abhishek Bhuyan


Abhishek embarked on his professional journey as a financial journalist due to his keen interest in discerning the fundamental factors that influence the future performance of financial instruments.

More...

The post 3 Utility Stocks Offering Reliable Dividends appeared first on StockNews.com

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business News

How to Be a Billionaire By 25, According to a College Dropout Turned CEO Worth $1.6 Billion

Austin Russell became the world's youngest self-made billionaire in 2020 at age 25.

Living

Taylor Swift Has a Lucky Number. And She's Not the Only High Performer Who Leans Into Superstitions to Boost Confidence.

Even megastars like Swift need a little extra something to get them in the right mindset when it is game time.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Marketing

SEO Trends You Need to Be Aware of Right Now, According to a Seasoned Pro

Navigate the future of search engine optimization to elevate your online presence and drive meaningful engagement.

Health & Wellness

4 Habits I Cultivated to Become a Healthier, More Effective Entrepreneur

By the time I hit mid-life, some of my bad habits were becoming a risk to my long-term business goals — and my health. Here's how I was able to change them.

Franchise

Guide Fellow Entrepreneurs to Success with an Exit Factor Franchise

Exit Factor franchisees play a vital role in the entrepreneurial community. As a business advisor, franchisees offer valuable guidance, solutions, and expertise to clients seeking to improve their business for a future exit.