Infrastructure

Federal Reserve Won't Raise Rates: 4 Big Dividend Utility Stocks to Buy Now

Needless to say with the January Federal Reserve meeting out of the way, we know that rates will stay where they were lifted to in December. And you know what? There is a very good chance that they stay there for the rest of 2016. The stock market is poised for the worst start to the year since the dreadful 2009 beginning, volatility has spiked, oil is still in trouble and most on Wall Street think growth will be tepid this year at best.

So what to yield hungry investors do now? Go back to the well that worked so good between 2009 and 2013 and buy the top utility stock for safety, sold growth and best of all solid dependable dividends. Deutsche Bank highlights the sector in a new report, with earnings starting this week and running through early February.

We screened the Deutsche Bank utility universe for the four highest yielding companies rated Buy. They all make good sense for conservative portfolios looking for income.

CMS Energy

This stock offers a solid dividend and good upside potential. CMS Energy Corp. (NYSE: CMS) is a Michigan-based company that has an electric and natural gas utility as its primary business and also owns and operates independent power generation businesses. Most Wall Street analysts feel the stock should trade in line with peers, reflecting what they view as above average total prospects spurred on by an extensive pipeline of infrastructure investments supported by a constructive regulatory environment.

The CMS Energy board of directors recently increased the quarterly dividend on the company’s common stock by 7% to $0.31 per share. The first-quarter dividend for the common stock is payable Feb. 29, 2016, to shareholders of record on Feb. 5, 2016.

CMS investors receive a 3.32% divided. The Deutsche Bank price target for the stock is $40, and the Thomson/First Call consensus price target is $38. Shares closed Thursday at $37.87.


Exelon

This top utility stock also makes good sense now for conservative accounts. Exelon Corp. (NYSE: EXC) is among the nation’s leading competitive energy providers, with 2014 revenues of approximately $27.4 billion. Headquartered in Chicago, Exelon does business in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. Exelon is one of the largest competitive U.S. power generators, with approximately 32,500 megawatts of owned capacity, comprising one of the nation’s cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets.

The company’s Constellation business unit provides energy products and services to more than 2.5 million residential, public sector and business customers, including more than two-thirds of the Fortune 100. Exelon’s utilities deliver electricity and natural gas to more than 7.8 million customers in central Maryland, northern Illinois and southeastern Pennsylvania.

Exelon investors receive a solid 4.32% dividend. Deutsche Bank has a $46 price target, but the consensus is lower at $33.35. The stock closed Thursday at $28.71 per share.