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Utilities companies can be boring. Partly because they are heavily regulated, their stock prices generally don't show much appreciation. However, some utilities are fantastic yielders (at least 8%). They particularly appealing for long term buy & hold, because the cash payout by itself provides a good margin of safety for the investment. The recent drop in natural gas price penalized many gas utilities companies. If timed correctly, investors can enjoy both share price increase as well as dividend payout.

American Midstream Partners (NYSE:AMID) is a gas utilities company. It has a market cap of $189.29 million. This company pays a handsome dividend of 8.50%. American Midstream Partners engages in gathering, treating, processing, and transporting natural gas in the Gulf Coast and Southeast regions of the United States. Its primary assets are located in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas, which provide infrastructure that link producers and suppliers of natural gas to various natural gas markets, including various interstate and intrastate pipelines, as well as utility, industrial, and other commercial customers. Its price/book ratio is 1.92, on the high side. American Midstream Partners has an enterprise value / EBITDA ratio of 11.19. The company had a gross profit of $33.02 million on a revenue of $228.40 million. Its revenue declined by -29.60% during the most recent quarter. Its debt burden is $66.47 million, or approximately 66.91 in debut/equity ratio. The debt isn't a concern. The trading volume has been stable recently.

AmeriGas Partners LP (NYSE:APU) is a gas utilities company. It has a market cap of $3.73 billion. This company pays a handsome dividend of 8.10%. AmeriGas Partners operates as a retail and wholesale distributor of propane gas in the United States. It distributes propane gas to approximately 1.3 million residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, and motor fuel customers in 50 states through approximately 1,200 propane distribution locations. The company also sells, installs, and services propane appliances, including heating systems. It markets propane primarily under the ‘AmeriGas’ and ‘America’s Propane Company’ names. Its price shows near term weakness, close to 52-week low (only 13.47% higher). Its P/E ratio of 18.64 is on the expensive side. Investors should use some cautious because of this valuation. Its price/book ratio is 2.12. even higher than American Midstream. AmeriGas Partners has an enterprise value / EBITDA ratio of 16.08. It has a profit margin of 4.41%. The company had a net income of $137.55 million, EBITDA of $372.22, and gross profit of $932.67 million on a revenue of $2.77 billion. Its net income grew by 27.40% during the most recent quarter. It operating cash flow is 280.86 million, and its free cash flow is 177.38 million. The financial data looks good and the valuation is a little rich. Low recent trading volume can be negative or positive.

Atlantic Power Corporation (NYSE:AT) is an electric utilities company. It has a market cap of $1.53 billion. The dividend is generous at 8.30%. The net generating capacity of the company’s projects is approximately 2,140 megawatts consisting of interests in 31 operational power generation projects across 11 states in the United States and 2 provinces in Canada. Its price is only around 7.51% off its 52-week low. While the stock appears it might have bottomed, investors should proceed with caution. Its price/book ratio is 1.82. Atlantic Power has an enterprise value / EBITDA ratio of 23.26, fairly high for this kind of company. Its revenue grew by 212.30% during the most recent quarter. It operating cash flow is 102.08 million, however its free cash flow is -129.72 million, which suggests a high level of capital expenditure. Average trading volume is observed lately. This month, 6.26 million shares are being shorted. Previously, 6.02 million shares are being shorted. The shared short has increased by 3%. The short ratio of Atlantic Power is 18.70, accounting for 5.50% of floating shares. Again this is very high for utilities companies.

Niska Gas Storage Partners LLC (NYSE:NKA) is a gas utilities company. It has a market cap of $737.60 million. This company pays a handsome dividend of 14.00%. Niska Gas Storage Partners owns and operates three gas storage facilities: the AECO Hub in Alberta, Canada; Wild Goose in California; and Salt Plains in Oklahoma. Its price/book ratio is 1.09, better than the previous companies mentioned. Niska Gas Storage has an enterprise value / EBITDA ratio of 8.13. Niska Gas Storage's operating margin of 103.06% appears quite strong. Its net income decreased by 11.30% during the most recent quarter. It operating cash flow is 8.03 million, and its free cash flow is -80.74 million. Neither number is encouraging, since the company may be too leveraged. Stable trading volume suggests a relatively calm market.

Inergy, L.P. (NRGY) is a gas utilities company. It has a market cap of $2.28 billion. The dividend is generous at 8.20%. Inergy engages in the retail marketing, sale, and distribution of propane to residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural customers in the United States. The company owns and operates five natural gas storage facilities. Its price/book ratio is 2.00. Inergy has an enterprise value / EBITDA ratio of 13.22, neither low nor very high. The company had an EBITDA of $299.10 million, and gross profit of $677.80 million on a revenue of $2.17 billion. Its net income decreased 8.10% during the most recent quarter. Thinning trading volume suggests that trading interest in the company is waning. Over the past five years, the average yield is 9.20.

PAA Natural Gas Storage, L.P. (NYSE:PNG) is a gas utilities company. It has a market cap of $1.27 billion. This company pays out a nice dividend of 8.10%. PAA Natural Gas Storage engages in the development, acquisition, operation, and commercial management of natural gas storage facilities. PAA operates as a subsidiary of Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. Its P/E ratio of 18.94 is on the expensive side. Investors should use some cautious because of this valuation. The high PEG ratio suggests that the market expectation may be too high to become reality. PAA Natural Gas Storage has an enterprise value / EBITDA ratio of 15.80, again not cheap. The company had a net income of $67.25 million, EBITDA of $111.95 million, and gross profit of $121.33 million on a revenue of $401.27 million. Its net income grew by 115.60% during the most recent quarter. The trading volume has been consolidating recently.

Suburban Propane Partners LP (NYSE:SPH) is a gas utilities company. It has a market cap of $1.43 billion. The dividend is generous at 8.60%. Suburban Propane Partners engages in the retail marketing and distribution of propane, fuel oil, and refined fuels. Its Propane segment is involved in the distribution of propane to residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural customers, as well as in the wholesale distribution to industrial end users. Its P/E ratio of 32.58 appears quite expensive. Its price/book ratio is 3.76, again very high. It has a profit margin of 4.20% and operating margin 7.10%, neither of which very high. This company has a long history of high yield. It is operated as a traditional utilities business.

Source: 7 High Yield Utilities Companies To Strengthen Your Long-Term Portfolio