NEE, DUK, SO, and D: Comparing Top Utilities’ Total Returns



Total returns

In this part, let’s see how the top utilities played out in terms of total returns. Renewables giant NextEra Energy (NEE) recently outperformed its peer utilities in terms of total returns. In the past 12 months, it has returned 16%, beating the returns of the broader utilities. The Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU) has returned 11%, whereas the SPDR S&P 500 has returned 19% in the same period.


Total returns consider both stock appreciation as well as dividends paid in a particular period.

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Peer returns

Duke Energy’s (DUK) and Southern Company’s (SO) total returns are -3% and -4%, respectively, in the past year. Dominion Energy (D) returned -7% in this duration.

In the last five years, NextEra Energy (NEE) returned 19% compounded annually while the broader utilities returned 11%. Southern Company, Duke Energy, and Dominion Energy significantly underperformed its peers in this period.

These utilities’ healthy dividends have contributed to their total returns. We’ll look at that later in the series.


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