Investing

5 Very Safe High-Yield Utility Dividend Stocks To Buy Now

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After a year like 2023, investorsare probably still taking the proverbial victory lap, and with good reason, with the Nasdaq up a stunning 43% and the S&P 500 up 24%. However, the tide could turn this year, and the fact that inflation remains sticky, as evidenced by the January consumer and producer price index report, may be part of the reason.

While interest rates probablystart to come down by the summer or, at the latest, the fall, one sector that was a victim of rising rates in the last two years may be a benefactor if they decline again this year: utility stocks. Everyone needs power, regardless of the economy.

We screened our 24/7 Wall St.utility stock research univers and found five top companies that are buy-rated on Wall Street and pay reliable and significant dividends to shareholders.

American Electric Power

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The company serves over five million customers in 11 U.S. states.

This industry-leading utility paysinvestors a hefty 4.14% dividend. American Electric Power Co., Inc. (NYSE: AEP) is an electric public utility holding company that generates, transmits, and distributes electricity for sale to retail and wholesale customers in the United States.

It operates through

  • Vertically Integrated Utilities
  • Transmission and Distribution Utilities
  • AEP Transmission Holdco
  • Generation & Marketing segments

The company generates electricity using:

  • Coal
  • Lignite
  • Natural gas
  • Renewable energy
  • Nuclear energy
  • Hydro,
  • Solar energy
  • Wind and other energy sources

It also supplies and marketselectric power wholesale to other electric utility companies, rural electric cooperatives, municipalities, and other market participants.

Northwest Natural Holding

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The company has provided essential services for over 165 years.

This off-the-radarutility stock suits worried conservative investors and pays a solid 5.28% dividend. Northwest Natural Holding Company (NYSE: NWN), through its subsidiary, Northwest Natural Gas Company, provides regulated natural gas distribution services to residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington.

The company alsooperates:

  • 5.7 billion cubic feet of the Mist gas storage facility contracted to other utilities and third-party marketers
  • Offers natural gas asset management services
  • Operates an appliance retail center.

In addition,it engages in gas storage, water, non-regulated renewable natural gas, and other investments and activities.

The company provides:

  • Natural gas service through approximately 786,000 meters in Oregon and southwest Washington,
  • Water services to approximately 786,000 meters in Oregon and southwest Washington, and
  • Water services to roughly 80,000 people through approximately 33,000 water and wastewater connections in the Pacific Northwest and Texas

Dominion Energy

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Dominion Energy operates in 16 states across the U.S., offering clean, safe, reliable, and affordable energy to more than 7 million customers.

Many of the Wall Street firmswe cover are still very positive on utilities, and this company pays a strong 5.96% dividend.

Dominion Energy, Inc.(NYSE: D) operates through four segments:

  • Dominion Energy Virginia,
  • Gas Distribution, 
  • Dominion Energy South Carolina, and
  • Contracted Assets. 

The Dominion Energy Virginiasegment generates, transmits, and distributes regulated electricity to residential, commercial, industrial, and governmental customers in Virginia and North Carolina.

The Gas Distribution segment engages in

  • Regulated natural gas gathering
  • Transportation
  • Distribution and sales activities 
  • Distributes nonregulated renewable natural gas

This segment servesresidential, commercial, and industrial customers.

The Dominion Energy South Carolina segment:

  • Generates
  • Transmits
  • Distributes electricity and natural gas to residential, commercial, and industrial customers in South Carolina. 

The company’s portfolio of assetsincluded approximately:

  • 30.2 gigawatts of electric generating capacity
  • 10,500 miles of electric transmission lines
  • 85,600 miles of electric distribution lines
  • 94,200 miles of gas distribution lines
  • Dominion serves approximately 7 million customers. 

Duke Energy

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Duke is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S., with an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts.

This is an excellent idea now, located in a growing part of the country and paying a hefty 4.51% dividend. Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE: DUK) and its subsidiaries operate as an energy company in the United States.

It operatesthrough two segments:

  • Electric Utilities and Infrastructure (EU&I)
  • Gas Utilities and Infrastructure (GU&I).

The EU&I segmentgenerates, transmits, distributes, and sells electricity in the Carolinas, Florida, and the Midwest.

To develop electricity, Duke Energy uses the following:

  • Coal
  • Hydroelectric
  • Natural gas
  • Oil
  • Solar and wind sources
  • Renewables
  • Nuclear fuel

This segment alsosells electricity to municipalities, electric cooperative utilities, and load-serving entities.

The GU&I segment distributesnatural gas to

  • Residential
  • Commercial
  • Industrial
  • Power generation natural gas customers

The segment alsoinvests in pipeline transmission projects, renewable natural gas projects, and natural gas storage facilities.

Entergy

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Entergy is an integrated energy company that provides electricity to 3 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

This top utility stock always makes sense for conservative investors and pays a rich 4.50% dividend. Entergy Corporation (NYSE: ETR) produces and distributes electricity in the United States with its subsidiaries.

It operates in two segments:

  • Utility 
  • Entergy Wholesale Commodities

The Utility segment generates, transmits, distributes, and sells electric power in portions of:

  • Arkansas
  • Louisiana,  including the City of New Orleans
  • Mississippi
  • Texas

It also distributes natural gas.

The Entergy Wholesale Commodities segment is involved in:

  • The ownership, operation, and decommissioning of nuclear power plants located in the northern United States
  • Sale of electric power to wholesale customers
  • Provision of services to other nuclear power plant owners
  • Ownership of interests in non-nuclear power plants that sell electric power to wholesale customers

The company generates electricity through gas, nuclear, coal, hydro, and solar sources. It sells energy to retail power providers, utilities, electric power co-operatives, power trading organizations, and other power generation companies.

Its power plants have approximately 24,000 megawatts (MW) of electric generating capacity, which includes 5,000 MW of nuclear power.

The company delivers electricity to 3 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

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