US water utilities (CGW) have outperformed broader equities by a huge margin during the past year. American Water Works (AWK) and California Water Service Group (CWT), for example, returned 47% in the last twelve months. Remember, total return considers capital gain and dividends during a specified period.
During the last 12 months, electric utilities returned nearly 20%, while the S&P 500 (SPY) returned a mere 7%. The total returns of American States Water and Aqua America came in at 11% and 25%, respectively.
Continue to the next part for a discussion of valuations.