So far in 2018, FirstEnergy (FE) has outperformed peer utilities in terms of total returns. FirstEnergy has returned 28% based on stock appreciation and dividend payments. The company’s better-than-expected quarterly earnings and separation of relatively riskier competitive operations has influenced FirstEnergy’s market performance. Currently, FirstEnergy is trading at a dividend yield of 3.8%. The company is expected to pay an annualized dividend of $1.44 per share in 2018.
The above chart shows FirstEnergy and its peers’ total returns in 2018. Xcel Energy (XEL) has returned 4%, while PPL (PPL) has returned -15% year-to-date. Currently, PPL is trading at a dividend yield of 5.6%. However, PPL’s steep stock descent resulted in an underperformance. To compare PPL’s dividend profile with Southern Company, read SO and PPL: How These Top-Yielding Utilities Stack Up.
AES (AES) and NRG Energy (NRG), some of the smallest constituents of the Utilities ETF (XLU), have outperformed FirstEnergy in terms of total returns this year. They have returned 32% and 28%, respectively, in 2018.