|Bid||0.00 x 1800|
|Ask||0.00 x 1000|
|Day's Range||53.57 - 54.86|
|52 Week Range||47.37 - 57.23|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||8.99|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.10|
|Expense Ratio (net)||0.14%|
Stocks closed mostly lower Friday and well off session highs as the market's rebound earlier in the week turned back into a pumpkin. The Dow Jones industrial average was the only major index higher.
Consolidated Edison (ED) expects ordinary earnings and dividend growth for the next few years. Its long dividend payment history and stable growth might attract conservative investors. The stock has been lagging this year. So far, it has fallen more than 8%, while the broader utilities have an average gain of 3% for the year.
So far, NRG Energy (NRG) stock has seen total returns of ~28% in 2018. In comparison, the Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU) has returned 3% during the same period. NRG Energy’s epic ascent has continued in 2018. The stock doubled last year and managed to maintain its strength. NRG Energy stock has risen ~27% in 2018.
Consolidated Edison (ED) expects to increase its earnings 4% over the next few years, which is in line with the industry average. Analysts are forecasting a 4% dividend increase over the next few years. Consolidated Edison’s management expects the company’s payout ratio to be 60%–70% going forward.
Currently, NRG Energy (NRG) stock is trading at a forward PE multiple of 10x based on its estimated EPS in 2019. In comparison, peers’ average forward PE multiple is close to 13x. NRG Energy stock looks attractively valued considering its lower forward PE multiple compared to peers’ average. Also, NRG Energy seems to be trading at an alluring valuation given the company’s estimated EPS growth of ~19% for 2019.
Consolidated Edison (ED) declared a dividend of $0.715 per share on October 18. It’s expected to pay an annualized dividend of $2.86 for 2018, implying a dividend growth of 3.6% compared to last year. Among the S&P 500 utilities, Consolidated Edison has one of the longest dividend-increasing streaks.
NRG Energy (NRG), one of the most rallied stocks among S&P 500 Utilities (XLU), continues to look strong based on its simple moving average levels. Currently, NRG Energy is trading at $36.86—almost 4% and 16% above its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, respectively. The large premium to both of the support levels indicates strength in the stock. The moving average levels around $35.50 and $31.72 are expected to act as a support for NRG Energy stock in the short term.
American Electric Power Company’s (AEP) EV-to-EBITDA multiple is 11.1x. The company’s five-year average EV-to-EBITDA multiple is 9.6x. Currently, American Electric Power is trading at a premium of 15.6% to its historical average.
As of October 17, American Electric Power Company (AEP) has fallen 2.5% YTD (year-to-date). However, the Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU) has risen 1.8% YTD.
NextEra Energy (NEE) stock is trading at a forward PE (price-to-earnings) multiple of ~21.0x based on its expected EPS for 2019. Its forward PE multiple is higher than its five-year historical average PE valuation of ~20.0x. Utilities typically trade at an average forward PE multiple of ~16.0x. So, NEE stock looks expensive given its historical valuation and its 8.0% estimated earnings growth for 2019.
According to Wall Street analysts’ consensus, Xcel Energy (XEL) stock has a median target price of $49.38—compared to its current market price of $48.27, which indicates a potential upside of 2.3% in a year.
As the largest utility by market capitalization, NextEra Energy (NEE) is slated to report its third-quarter results on October 23. Analysts expect NEE to report EPS of $2.13. The company reported EPS of $1.85 in the third quarter of 2017, which indicates earnings growth of ~15.0% year-over-year.
Xcel Energy (XEL) stock is trading at $48.27, which is marginally above its 50-day moving average and 6% above its 200-day moving average level. Both of these levels around $47.90 and $45.63 could act as a support for Xcel Energy stock in the short term. Currently, the company’s RSI (relative strength index) is 56, which indicates that Xcel Energy isn’t in the “overbought” or “oversold” zone.
Currently, Xcel Energy (XEL) stock is trading at a forward PE ratio of 19x based on the estimated EPS in 2019. Utilities at large are trading at an average forward PE ratio of 18.5x. Xcel Energy’s five-year historical average PE ratio is ~18x. Xcel Energy looks a little expensive considering its historical valuation and peer’s average valuation. According to analysts’ estimates, Xcel Energy is expecting earnings growth of 5.5% in 2019. Xcel Energy stock appears to be trading at a premium given its relatively slower growth and its next 12-month PE ratio.
Is There Any Steam Left in AES Stock after Such a Steep Rally? According to the analyst consensus, AES (AES) has a median target price of $14.22 compared to its current market price of $14.84, which indicates a downside of more than 4% for the next 12 months. SCANA (SCG) has a median price target of $39.50, which implies an upside of 2% for the next year.
Xcel Energy (XEL) is scheduled to report its third-quarter earnings on October 25. Analysts expect Xcel Energy to report an EPS of $0.98 for the quarter ending on September 30. After posting strong earnings in the second quarter, Xcel Energy’s management raised its EPS guidance range from $2.37–$2.47 to $2.41–$2.51.
On October 15, the implied volatility of AES Corporation (AES) stock was 25%, which was higher than its 15-day average volatility of 21%. AES’s average implied volatility in the last few weeks was way higher than that of broader utilities and broader markets. Implied volatility represents investor anxiety. An increase in implied volatility is generally associated with a fall in the stock and vice versa.
AES (AES) significantly outperformed peers in terms of total returns this year. Including dividends, it returned 41% against broader utilities’ average total return of just 3%. AES’s steep stock rally majorly contributed to its outperformance. Broader markets have returned 4% so far this year.
AES (AES) declared a per share dividend of $0.13 on October 12. The ex-dividend date for it is October 31, and the dividend will be paid on November 15. AES is currently trading at a dividend yield of 3.6%, marginally higher than utilities’ (XLU) average yield of 3.4%. AES’s recent dividend was an increase of more than 8% considering its dividends in the comparable period last year. In comparison, the industry average annual dividend growth is ~5%.
AES Corporation (AES) stock was trading at ~$11.0 early this year. It has had a stupendous rally and has significantly outperformed peers by a huge margin. The Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU), a representative of the S&P 500 Utilities, has risen around 2% so far this year.
AES Corporation (AES), one of the smallest constituents of the Utilities ETF (XLU), has surged more than 35% so far this year, beating peers. The stock is currently trading at its four-year high. Its expansion of renewable energy sources and its recently launched LNG terminal in Central America have driven its stock so far this year.
With seasonal volatility, rising interest rates, uncertainty over a tariff war with China and fast-approaching mid-term elections all on the minds of investors, the best ETFs to buy now are those that invest in defensive areas of the market.
The broader markets recently witnessed a significant surge in volatility levels. On October 12, implied volatility in the S&P 500 was ~17%, which is much higher than its 15-day average. In comparison, utilities (XLU) on average saw an implied volatility of 17%. Implied volatility represents investor unease. A rising volatility is generally related to a fall in stock prices.
Let’s take a look at the returns for utilities so far this year. Utilities (XLU) on average have returned 3%, while the broader markets have returned 5.5%. As we’ve already seen in this series, utility stocks were notably weak early this year, mainly due to the Fed’s aggressive stance on interest rate hikes. Recently, investors took shelter in utilities amid trade war tensions, mainly due to their high yields and stable stock movements.
Some of the smallest components of the Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU) have significantly outperformed utilities at large as well as the broader markets this year. AES Corporation (AES), which is mainly involved in competitive operations, has risen ~34% so far this year. Merchant power stock NRG Energy (NRG), another smaller constituent of XLU, has risen 26% in the same period.