The Case for USA Electric Utilities, even with Rising USA Rates

Running Alpha Capital Markets observes that higher rates are not always a headwind, as the not too distant record shows that the electric utilities group can outperform and offer a margin of safety.

During the last period of higher rates, from mid 2004 to mid-2006, the FOMC hiked rates 16 times, and despite these incremental actions, electric utilities actually outperformed the broad USA equity market indices by a fairly wide margin.

The electrics don't start to significantly under-perform until the Fed funds rate passes the yield of the average electric utility stock; and we will be no where near there even after a number of measured hikes.

Absolute returns on electric utilities are likely to stay rich, regardless of what interest rates do over the next market cycle.

Looking at the average electric utility investor, who are the buy and hold type of market actor, we still have good electric utility yields out there relative to what the Treasuries offer, and on top of that, the electric utilities have attractive balance sheets with good dividend growth and compelling absolute total returns.
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