Income investors who invest in electric and gas utilities are always looking for ways to diversify, yet still get a decent yield. What better way to branch out than to invest in water utilities? Compared to electric utilities which require the purchase of fuel to run their generators, water utilities are a simple concept. Take the water which occurs freely and pump it out to the customers. Of course, this is over-simplifying, as water companies are involved in water treatment, developing water treatment plants, storage facilities, dams, and pumping stations.
Based on the free list of water utility stocks at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com, there are ten stocks, all with yields of 3% or more. An example is American Water (AWK), which is a New Jersey based company that provides drinking water and wastewater services to 30 states and 2 Canadian provinces. The stock trades at 15.7 times forward earnings and generates a yield of 3%. Earnings for the latest quarter were up an unbelievable 59.2% on a 3.7% increase in revenues.
Middlesex Water Co. (MSEX) is another water utility that has been around for over a century, as it was founded in 1897. The company primarily serves New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. The stock has a forward price to earnings ratio of 17.8, which is a bit on the high side, however, it pays a generous yield of 4.1%. Earnings were down over 31% for the latest quarter, on a revenue drop of 1.9%.
SJW Corp. (SJW) based in San Jose, California, provides water to the area around Silicon Valley. Investors receive a yield of 3.1% and the stock carries a forward price to earnings ratio of 17.5. The high tech area serves the company well, as quarterly earnings were up an outrageous 81.8% on a 17.1% revenue increase. WallStreetNewsNetwork.com just updated its free list of dividend paying water utility stocks, which shows the price to earnings ratio, and the yield.
Disclosure: Author didn't own any of the above at the time the article was written.