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The following is a list of utility stocks that might offer an interesting starting point to an investor looking for exposure to the sector. The management teams mentioned below have all outperformed their competitors over the last five years, when comparing the Return on Assets (ROA), Return on Invested Capital (ROI) and Return on Equity (ROE) ratios.

Will these management teams continue to outperform? What do you think? To provide perspective on market sentiment, we'll also include data on short float and annual performance.

Management data and industry comps sourced from Reuters, short float and performance data sourced from Finviz.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the top six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research. Note: The numbers on top of items represent the forward P/E ratio, if available.




The list has been sorted by market cap.

1. Exelon Corp. (EXC): Diversified Utilities Industry. Market cap of $28.57B. 5-year average ROA at 4.73% vs. industry average at 3.78%. 5-year average ROI at 5.36% vs. industry average at 4.36%. 5-year average ROE at 20.81% vs. industry average at 8.45%. Short float at 2.27%, which implies a short ratio of 3.16 days. The stock has lost -1.5% over the last year.

2. Empresa Nacional de Electricidad S.A. (EOC): Foreign Utilities Industry. Market cap of $14.33B. 5-year average ROA at 7.13% vs. industry average at 3.78%. 5-year average ROI at 10.3% vs. industry average at 4.36%. 5-year average ROE at 17.67% vs. industry average at 8.45%. Short float at 0.16%, which implies a short ratio of 1.75 days. The stock has gained 2.1% over the last year.

3. Enersis S.A. (ENI): Foreign Utilities Industry. Market cap of $13.88B. 5-year average ROA at 6.14% vs. industry average at 3.78%. 5-year average ROI at 10.21% vs. industry average at 4.36%. 5-year average ROE at 12.75% vs. industry average at 8.45%. Short float at 0.24%, which implies a short ratio of 1.25 days. The stock has lost -6.31% over the last year.

4. PPL Corporation (PPL): Electric Utilities Industry. Market cap of $12.48B. 5-year average ROA at 4.01% vs. industry average at 3.78%. 5-year average ROI at 4.89% vs. industry average at 4.36%. 5-year average ROE at 15.45% vs. industry average at 8.45%. Short float at 1.12%, which implies a short ratio of 1.34 days. The stock has lost -11.11% over the last year.

5. CPFL Energia S.A. (CPL):
Foreign Utilities Industry. Market cap of $12.38B. 5-year average ROA at 9.01% vs. industry average at 3.78%. 5-year average ROI at 12.44% vs. industry average at 4.36%. 5-year average ROE at 27.1% vs. industry average at 8.45%. Short float at 0.79%, which implies a short ratio of 6.49 days. The stock has gained 38.67% over the last year.

6. Cia Energetica de Minas Gerais (CIG): Electric Utilities Industry. Market cap of $11.31B. 5-year average ROA at 6.5% vs. industry average at 3.78%. 5-year average ROI at 8.19% vs. industry average at 4.36%. 5-year average ROE at 17.31% vs. industry average at 8.45%. Short float at 0.71%, which implies a short ratio of 2.86 days. The stock has gained 3.69% over the last year.

7. Companhia Paranaense de Energia (ELP)
: Electric Utilities Industry. Market cap of $7.21B. 5-year average ROA at 8.37% vs. industry average at 3.78%. 5-year average ROI at 10.41% vs. industry average at 4.36%. 5-year average ROE at 12.93% vs. industry average at 8.45%. Short float at 0.86%, which implies a short ratio of 2.79 days. The stock has gained 29.32% over the last year.

8. Constellation Energy Group, Inc. (CEG):
Electric Utilities Industry. Market cap of $6.47B. 5-year average ROA at 4.92% vs. industry average at 3.78%. 5-year average ROI at 6.93% vs. industry average at 4.36%. 5-year average ROE at 21.15% vs. industry average at 8.45%. Short float at 1.58%, which implies a short ratio of 1.31 days. The stock has gained 0.06% over the last year.

9. Companhia de Saneamento Basico do Estado de Sao Paulo (SBS): Foreign Utilities Industry. Market cap of $5.54B. 5-year average ROA at 5.64% vs. industry average at 1.47%. 5-year average ROI at 6.48% vs. industry average at 1.79%. 5-year average ROE at 11.17% vs. industry average at 4.55%. Short float at 1.17%, which implies a short ratio of 3.16 days. The stock has gained 45.03% over the last year.

10. Aqua America Inc. (WTR): Water Utilities Industry. Market cap of $3.25B. 5-year average ROA at 3.14% vs. industry average at 1.47%. 5-year average ROI at 3.39% vs. industry average at 1.79%. 5-year average ROE at 10.23% vs. industry average at 4.55%. Short float at 6.89%, which implies a short ratio of 13.34 days. The stock has gained 44.3% over the last year.

11. DPL Inc. (DPL): Diversified Utilities Industry. Market cap of $3.16B. 5-year average ROA at 5.05% vs. industry average at 3.78%. 5-year average ROI at 5.75% vs. industry average at 4.36%. 5-year average ROE at 19.94% vs. industry average at 8.45%. Short float at 5.09%, which implies a short ratio of 8.24 days. The stock has gained 1.84% over the last year.

12. AmeriGas Partners LP (APU): Gas Utilities Industry. Market cap of $2.88B. 5-year average ROA at 10.05% vs. industry average at 8.67%. 5-year average ROI at 13.69% vs. industry average at 11.4%. 5-year average ROE at 54.41% vs. industry average at 18.21%. Short float at 0.69%, which implies a short ratio of 4.73 days. The stock has gained 30.73% over the last year.

13. Suburban Propane Partners LP (SPH): Gas Utilities Industry. Market cap of $2.07B. 5-year average ROA at 12.27% vs. industry average at 8.67%. 5-year average ROI at 15.41% vs. industry average at 11.4%. 5-year average ROE at 56.14% vs. industry average at 18.21%. Short float at 0.27%, which implies a short ratio of 1.24 days. The stock has gained 25.22% over the last year.

14. Cleco Corporation (CNL): Electric Utilities Industry. Market cap of $1.91B. 5-year average ROA at 4.6% vs. industry average at 3.78%. 5-year average ROI at 5.27% vs. industry average at 4.36%. 5-year average ROE at 13.61% vs. industry average at 8.45%. Short float at 5.63%, which implies a short ratio of 9.9 days. The stock has gained 24.21% over the last year.

15. MGE Energy Inc. (MGEE):
Diversified Utilities Industry. Market cap of $981.25M. 5-year average ROA at 4.26% vs. industry average at 3.78%. 5-year average ROI at 5.06% vs. industry average at 4.36%. 5-year average ROE at 11.1% vs. industry average at 8.45%. Short float at 2.01%, which implies a short ratio of 8.6 days. The stock has gained 31.01% over the last year.

16. California Water Service Group (CWT):
Water Utilities Industry. Market cap of $788.M. 5-year average ROA at 2.74% vs. industry average at 1.47%. 5-year average ROI at 2.94% vs. industry average at 1.79%. 5-year average ROE at 9.01% vs. industry average at 4.55%. Short float at 2.22%, which implies a short ratio of 4.99 days. The stock has gained 7.96% over the last year.

17. American States Water Company (AWR)
: Water Utilities Industry. Market cap of $647.79M. 5-year average ROA at 2.7% vs. industry average at 1.47%. 5-year average ROI at 3.% vs. industry average at 1.79%. 5-year average ROE at 8.74% vs. industry average at 4.55%. Short float at 2.27%, which implies a short ratio of 3.17 days. The stock has gained 7.84% over the last year.

18. SJW Corp. (SJW):
Water Utilities Industry. Market cap of $462.02M. 5-year average ROA at 3.21% vs. industry average at 1.47%. 5-year average ROI at 3.35% vs. industry average at 1.79%. 5-year average ROE at 10.26% vs. industry average at 4.55%. Short float at 3.23%, which implies a short ratio of 11.42 days. The stock has gained 16.45% over the last year.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: Top Management Teams in the Utilities Sector