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How Utility Stocks Fared Last Week

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May. 6 2019, Published 10:28 a.m. ET

Utilities back in focus

Utilities were close to their all-time high and gained 0.4% last week, while broader markets also gained marginally. Renewed US-China trade tensions could make markets volatile and put utilities back in focus this week. Utility stocks have risen 13% over the past year, outperforming the S&P 500. Utility stocks trade inversely to ten-year Treasury yields, which closed at 2.53% last week.

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Leaders and laggards

Regulated utility Southern Company (SO) reported its Q1 earnings last week. Its EPS of $0.70 missed analysts’ average estimate and fell YoY (year-over-year) from $0.88. Southern Company stock rose more than 1% last week, reaching an all-time high.

According to Reuters, PG&E (PCG) said last week that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating its public disclosures and losses regarding wildfires. The utility, which is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, reported its Q1 earnings last week. In the first quarter, its adjusted EPS rose YoY to $1.04 from $0.91, but its stock fell more than 8% last week.

The second-biggest utility by market cap, Duke Energy (DUK), declared a quarterly dividend of $0.9275 per share, in line with its previous quarterly dividend. The dividend is to be paid to shareholders on record as of May 17. Duke Energy stock fell marginally last week.

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