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Utility stocks offer gorgeous dividends to investors. The average dividend yield on this industry is 4.5%. These stocks are one of the safest equities, and can return really good profits. Among the utility stocks, electric utilities are one of the best. The demand for electricity is increasing, which keeps the industry growing bigger and bigger, even in the roughest times of the global economy. Here, is a list of seven electric utility stocks offering substantial dividends (data from finviz/morningstar, and is current as of June 1 close):

Dominion Resources (NYSE:D): Dominion has been trying to convert three of its stations from using coal to biomass. As of the July 1st close, the Virginia-based company had a market capitalization of $28.21 billion, and a trailing ratio of 9.23. Forward P/E is 15.07. D had an EPS growth of 27.34% over the last five years, while earnings increased by 136.41% this year. Profit margin is 20.79%, whereas the company offered a 4.02% yield.

D ranks third on my best electric utility dividends for the next 5 years list. Although debts are a little bit unstable, assets are doing OK. The company is quite trustworthy. Insiders have been buying stock for a while. Yields are on track. Dominion is a Cramer pick. SMA50 is 4.13%, while SMA200 is 11.82%. D seems to be a safe and profitable long-term investment, promising even more to its shareholders in the future. Here is Dominion's recent dividend history:

May 25, 2011

$0.493

Mar 2, 2011

$0.493

Nov 24, 2010

$0.458

Aug 25, 2010

$0.458

Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK): DUK is trying to boost power rates by 15%, which would end up adding $19 to the average monthly home power bill. Duke, as of the July 1 close, had a market capitalization of $25.38 billion. P/E is 18.34, while forward P/E is 13.62. The company had 21.55% EPS growth this year. With a dividend of 5.24%, the North Carolina-based company had a 9.68% profit margin last year.

Insider transactions for the last six months increased by 20.49%. Although debts are increasing incrementally quarter by quarter, assets are in a good shape. The company is one of the best electric utility dividend picks for the next five years. Duke seems to have healed itself after its doomsday situation in January, 2007. Although there are still some problems, the company has started to gain a slow but trustworthy momentum which will not fade away so easily. Recent dividend payments of Duke Energy have been:

May 18, 2011

$0.245

Feb 9, 2011

$0.245

Nov 9, 2010

$0.245

Aug 11, 2010

$0.245

Entergy Corp. (NYSE:ETR): Shaw Group has won the contract to build a new electricity unit for ETR in Westwego. As of July 1, Entegry had a $12.17 billion market cap. P/E ratio is 9.88, whereas forward P/E is 11.14. Earnings increased by 23.54% this quarter. With a dividend yield of 4.86%, the Louisiana-based company had a profit margin of 11.58% in 2010.

Although Entegry struggles to balance its assets and debts, the stock has been doing fine since March, 2009. Target price is $74.57, implying a 10% upside potential. Dividend yields are all right. ETR ranks #5 on my best electric utilities list. I don’t think the company will have a major downfall for a considerable time. Recent ETR dividend payments have been as follows:

May 10, 2011

$0.83

Feb 8, 2011

$0.83

Nov 9, 2010

$0.83

Aug 10, 2010

$0.83

Progress Energy (NYSE:PGN): Formerly known as CP&L Energy, PGN is seeking wind power providers. The Raleigh-based company, as of the June 1 close, had a $14.31 billion market capitalization. P/E ratio is 16.69, and forward P/E is 15.13. Analysts expect the company to have 3.91% EPS growth for the next five years. Gross margin is 34.67%, while the profit margin is 8.79%. With a 5.11% dividend yield, PGN could be a good long-term pick.

There have been minor increases to Debts, though assets still outrun them. Insider transactions increased by 23.75% during the last six months. Progress Energy’s merger with Duke Energy will create the largest utility company in the U.S. However, the merger is still subject to shareholder approval. Until the deal is finalized, there might be arbitrage opportunities. Recent dividend payments have been:

Apr 7, 2011

$0.62

Jan 6, 2011

$0.62

Oct 6, 2010

$0.62

Jul 8, 2010

$0.62

PPL Corp. (NYSE:PPL): PPL recently ensured nuclear safety in its generations, as it had to change some turbine blades that were damaged. As of the June 1 close, the Pennsylvania-based PPL had a market cap of $16.17 billion. Trailing P/E ratio is 11.68, and forward P/E is 11.72. Earnings increased by 101.32% this year, while analysts estimate an 8.10% EPS growth for the next five years. With a dividend yield of 5.00% and a profit margin of 13.42%, PPL is a profitable company to invest in.

SMA50 is 2.62%, and SMA200 is 8.61%. Insider transactions have increased by 35.12% for the last six months. Assets had an about 60% increase during the last four years, while debts increased by less than 50%. The company's operating margin is 26.01%. Yields are OK. It seems that the company is starting to mend itself. Recent dividend payments of PPL have been as follows:

Jun 8, 2011

$0.35

Mar 8, 2011

$0.35

Dec 8, 2010

$0.35

Sep 8, 2010

$0.35

Southern Company (NYSE:SO): After great careers, Southern Company’s Chief Information Officer and Chief Financial Officer are retiring with 33 and 35 years with the company, respectively. The company, as of June 1st, had a market cap of $34.58 billion, and a P/E ratio of 18.02. Forward P/E is 15.08, while earnings increased by 14.32% this year. Profit margin in 2010 was 11.36%, while the company offered a 4.64% dividend yield.

Debts have been rising for the last four years, as well as assets. Yields are great. The company is doing OK since May, 2009. SMA50 is 2.77%, while SMA200 is 8.00%. SO had an immense leap between mid-April and May. I guess the momentum of the company might continue for a long time, and could enter the portfolios as a long-term investment. Here is the recent dividend history of Southern Co.:

Apr 28, 2011

$0.473

Feb 3, 2011

$0.455

Oct 28, 2010

$0.455

Jul 29, 2010

$0.455

Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL): XEL recently signed a long term deal with Geronimo Wind. The Minnesota-based company, as of June 1, had an $11.94 billion market capital. Its P/E ratio is 14.77, whereas forward P/E is 13.55. Xcel had an 8.27% EPS growth this year, while analysts estimate a 5.64% EPS growth for the next five years. Profit margin is 7.64%, and the stock yielded a 4.22% dividend last year.

Both debts and assets have increased incrementally for the last four years. XEL has had good momentum since May, 2009. Yields are all right. Analysts give a 2.6 recommendation for the company (1=Buy, 5=Sell). Here is the recent dividend history of Xcel:

Jun 21, 2011

$0.26

Mar 22, 2011

$0.253

Dec 21, 2010

$0.253

Sep 21, 2010

$0.253


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

Source: 7 Electricity Stocks With Substantial Dividends