Utilities beat the S&P 500

Utility stocks have not been just an effective hedge lately, but have outperformed broader markets. Over the past year, utility stocks have gained 14% on average, while the S&P 500 has gained 9%. Many top utility stocks are trading at a substantial premium to their historical averages.

How Top Utility Stocks Are Currently Valued

Sign up for Bagels & Stox, our witty take on the top market and investment news, straight to your inbox! Whether you’re a serious investor or just want to be informed, Bagels & Stox will be your favorite email.

Valuation

NextEra Energy (NEE), the biggest constituent of the Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU), has a forward PE multiple of 22x, higher than its five-year average. Dominion Energy’s (D) and Duke Energy’s (DUK) multiples are 18x, in line with the industry average, and Southern Company’s (SO) is below 17x, the lowest among top utilities.

American Electric Power’s (AEP) and Xcel Energy’s (XEL) forward PE multiples of 20x are higher than peers’ average as well as their own historical averages. Their valuation may be inflated because of their subdued earnings growth. The utilities’ usual EPS growth of 4%–6% annually may not support their current valuation. However, considering their stable dividend yields and growth, these utility stocks seem to be trading at a premium. Safe-haven utilities’ slower earnings growth and premium valuation could hinder any rallies going forward.

Latest articles

Marathon Petroleum (MPC) stock has been tumbling in Q3, driven by geopolitical tensions, oil price uncertainty, and weaker refining conditions.

This week, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson noted that AT&T (T) is on track to reduce its leverage multiple to about 2.5x by the end of this year.

Jeff Bezos announced that Amazon had placed an order of 100,000 electric delivery vans from Michigan-based startup Rivian.

Bad news on the trade war front appears to have led to a fall in the broader US equity markets today. Cannabis ETFs were also trading in the red.

Energy Transfer (ET) stock has recovered in the last two trading sessions after investors hammered it on its plans to acquire SemGroup (SEMG).

Software-as-a-service company Datadog (DDOG) made a smashing debut on Wall Street yesterday. After its IPO, DDOG's shares surged 40% in intraday trading.