Top utility stocks
Let’s take a look at how the top utility stocks have played out in 2019. Southern Company (SO) leads the pack. The stock has rallied almost 30% in 2019. Southern Company has shown an unusual rally in the last few months. The company’s premium yield and relatively better prospects for its Vogtle power plant might be some of the important drivers behind the rally. Southern Company’s rally likely brought a little relief to investors. Southern Company significantly underperformed its peers in 2017 and 2018.
NextEra Energy (NEE), the biggest utility stock by market cap, has risen more than 20% during the same period. The company’s consistent premium earnings and dividend growth could be driving the rally. NextEra Energy’s earnings have grown ~8% compounded annually in the last five years—way higher than utilities’ average. The company’s dividends also followed a similar trend. NextEra Energy’s dividends per share rose 10%, while utilities at large had dividend growth of ~4%.
So far, Duke Energy (DUK) has underperformed its peers in 2019. The stock has risen ~6% year-to-date. So far in 2019, utility stocks (XLU) have risen almost 15%, while broader markets have risen more than 17%.
To learn about top utility stocks’ current valuations, read NEE, SO, and DUK: Analyzing Current Valuations.