Yield (dividend/price) results from here verified by Yahoo Finance for small, mid, & large cap Utilities stocks as of market closing prices as of March 21 compared with analyst 1-yr target projections led to four actionable conclusions discussed below.
Wall Street Wizard Weights
One-year mean target price set by brokerage analysts multiplied by the number of shares in a $1k investment were used to compare ten stocks showing the highest upside price potential into 2015 out of 20 selected by yield. The number of analysts providing price estimates was noted after the name for each stock. Three to nine analysts was considered optimal for a valid mean target price estimate.
Actionable Conclusion (1) Ten Utilities March Dividend Dogs Chased 2.4% to 22% Upsides
Since the fall of 2011 this report series applied dog dividend methodology to uncover possible buy opportunities in each of eight major market sectors listed by Yahoo Finance: basic materials (BasMats), consumer goods (ConGo), financials (Fins), healthcare (Heal), industrial goods (IndiGo), services (Svcs), technology (Tec), and utilities (Utes). In the past year the series expanded to report (1) dividend yield; (2) price upside; (3) net gain results based on analyst 1-yr. target projections.
Dog dividend methodology is based on Michael B. O'Higgins book "Beating The Dow" (HarperCollins, 1991), which revealed how high yielding stocks whose prices increased (and whose dividend yields therefore decreased) could be sold off once a year to sweep gains and reinvest the seed money into higher yielding stocks in the same index. Now named Dogs of the Dow, O'Higgins system also works to find bargains in any collection of dividend paying stocks. Utilizing analyst price upside estimates has expanded the stock lists to include popular growth equities, if desired.
Dog Metrics Gauged Utilities Stocks by Yield
Utilities sector stocks that showed the biggest dividend yields March 21, per Yahoo Finance data, represented three industries: electric; diversified; gas. Tops was Atlantic Power Corporation (NYSE:AT) the most downtrodden electric firm. The next two dogs, Just Energy Group, Inc. [Canada] (NYSE:JE), and Southcross Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE:SXE), in second and third places were two of three diversified utilities. TransAlta Corp. (NYSE:TAC), the other diversified firm, placed fifth. One gas firm placed fourth, Suburban Propane Partners (NYSE:SPH).
Five electric firms completed the top ten dog list, claiming slots six through ten: Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:POM); TECO Energy, Inc. (NYSE:TE); Entergy Corp (NYSE:ETR); Hawaiian Electric Industries (NYSE:HE); Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P. (NYSE:BIP).
Dividend vs. Price Results Compared to Dow Dogs
The graphs below compare relative strengths of the top ten utilities sector dogs by yield as of market close 3/21/2014 with those of the Dow industrials index. Annual dividend history from $10,000 invested as $1k in each of the ten highest yielding stocks along with the total single share price of those ten stocks made the data points shown in green for price and blue for dividends.
Actionable Conclusion (2): Utilities Dogs Ran Scared While Dow Dogs Chased Bulls
Utilities dividend payers as of March 21 cowered with soaring dividend from $10k invested as $1k in each of the top ten stocks, while aggregate single share price of those ten plunged. Dividend flew up at a rate of 18.5% since February while total single share price fell 28% for that period as four new dogs pushed into the top ten.
For the Dow dogs, meanwhile, projected annual dividend from $10k invested as $1K in each of the top ten Dow dogs dropped 0.2% since February while aggregate single share price rose 0.7%. The Dow dogs overbought condition in which aggregate single share price of the ten exceeded projected annual dividend from $10k invested in those ten (@$1k each) widened again. The overhang was $140 or 38% to end November; shrank back to $111 or 29% into December/January; expanded to $132 or 35% in February, and $136 or 36% into March.
To quantify the top dog rankings, analyst mean price target estimates provided a "market sentiment" gauge of upside potential and so were added to the simple high yield "dog" metric used to dig out bargains.
Actionable Conclusion (3): Wall Street Wizards Expect 10.6% Net Gain from Top 20 Utilities Dogs Come March 2015
Top twenty dogs for the utilities sector were graphed below to show relative strengths by dividend and price as of March 21, 2014 and those projected by analyst mean price target estimates to the same date in 2015.
A hypothetical $1000 investment in each equity was divided by the current share price to find the number of shares purchased. The shares number was then multiplied by projected annual per share dividend amounts to find the dividend return. Thereafter the analyst mean target price was used to gauge the stock price upsides and net gains including dividends less broker fees as of 2015.
Historic prices and actual dividends paid from $20,000 invested as $1k in each of the highest yielding stocks and the aggregate single share prices of those twenty stocks divided by 2 created data points for 2014. Projections based on estimated dividend amounts from $1000 invested in the twenty highest yielding stocks and aggregate one-year analyst target share prices from Yahoo Finance divided by 2 created the 2015 data points green for price and blue for dividend.
Yahoo projected a near 6.5% lower dividend from $10K invested in this group while aggregate single share price was projected to increase by over 5% in the coming year. The number of analysts contributing to the mean target price estimate for each stock was noted in the next to the last column on the charts. Three to nine analysts was considered optimal for a valid projection estimate. Estimates provided by one analyst were not applied (n/a).
A beta (risk) ranking for each stock was provided in the far right column on the above chart. A beta of 1 meant the stock's price would move with the market. Less than 1 showed lower than market movement. Higher than 1 showed greater than market movement. A negative beta number indicated the degree of a stock price movement opposite market direction.
Actionable Conclusion (4): Analysts Forecast March 2015 Utilities DiviDogs to Net 5% to 25%
Only four of the ten top dividend yielding utilities dogs were verified as being among the ten gainers for the coming year based on analyst 1-year target prices. So this month the dog strategy for this sector as graded by Wall St. wizards was 40% accurate.
Ten probable profit generating trades were revealed by Thompson/First Call in Yahoo Finance by 2015:
Atlantic Power Corporation netted $347.42 based on estimates from five analysts plus dividends less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 63% less than the market as a whole.
Pattern Energy Group Inc (NASDAQ:PEGI) netted $191.96 based on estimates from five analysts plus dividends less broker fees. No Beta number was available for PEGI.
Suburban Propane L.P netted $178.77 based on estimates from seven analysts plus dividends less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 35% less than the market as a whole.
TransAlta Corp netted $176.27 based on dividends plus a mean target price estimate from six analysts less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 86% less than the market as a whole.
Southcross Energy netted $145.22, based on dividend plus mean target price estimates from four analysts less broker fees. No Beta number was available for SXE.
UIL Holdings (UIL) netted $137.37 based on dividends plus a mean target price estimate from ten analysts less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 70% less than the market as a whole.
Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED) netted $115.34, based on dividends plus mean target price estimate from thirteen analysts less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 2% opposite the market as a whole.
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P. netted $111.40 based on estimates from five analysts plus dividends less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 50% less than the market as a whole.
Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) netted $110.86 based on estimates from ten analysts plus dividends less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 93% less than the market as a whole.
Integrys Energy Group (NYSE:TEG) netted $73.16 based on estimates from six analysts plus dividends less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 49% less than the market as a whole.
The average net gain in dividend and price was 15.9% on $10k invested as $1k in each of these ten utilities dogs. This gain estimate was subject to average volatility 75% less than the market as a whole.
The net gain estimates above did not factor-in any foreign or domestic tax problems resulting from distributions. Consult your tax advisor regarding the source and consequences of "dividends" from any investment.
Stocks listed above were suggested only as possible starting points for your index dog dividend stock purchase research process. These were not recommendations.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed to constitute investment advice. Nothing contained herein shall constitute a solicitation, recommendation or endorsement to buy or sell any security. Prices and returns on equities in this article except as noted are listed without consideration of fees, commissions, taxes, penalties, or interest payable due to purchasing, holding, or selling same.
Disclosure: I am long AT, CSCO, CVX, GE, INTC, MCD, T, VZ. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.