US utilities (XLU) have returned 9% in the past year. Although the stocks have seen tremendous weakness in 2H16, the steep rally in the first half of the year contributed to attractive total returns. (Total returns consider the stock appreciation and dividends paid in a specific period.)
Duke Energy (DUK) has returned more than 9%, marginally outperforming XLU. Exelon leads the group of utilities we are considering in this series, with a 17% return in the trailing-12-month period. Southern Company (SO) and NextEra Energy (NEE) have returned 7% and 14%, respectively, in the past year.
In the next part, we’ll compare valuations.