Water Stocks are Floating on Dividends

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by Fred Fuld III

If you are looking for growth along with income, you should check out the water utilities. Most communities are served by governmental water district entities, but residents of some communities buy water through publicly traded companies that own water rights. The nicest feature about these companies is that they are practically recession-proof since people don’t stop showering or drinking water. There are several of these water companies that investors can choose from.

One example is American States Water (AWR), founded in 1929, which is a distributor of water in over 70 communities in California. It trades at 35 times forward earnings and pays a yield of 1.58%. Last summer, the company raised its dividends by 7.8%. Earnings for the latest quarter were up significantly, by 23%, year over year.

Aqua America (WTR) distributes water to customers in Pennsylvania, Texas, North Carolina, Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Florida, Indiana, Virginia, Maine, and Georgia. The stock has a forward price to earnings ratio of 24, and yields 2.41%. The company has raised its dividends every year since 1988 and has had many stock splits during that time.

Connecticut Water Service (CTWS) trades at 29 times forward earnings and yields 1.83%. The company, which was founded in 1956, serves customers in over 50 towns in Connecticut.

Maybe I’m all wet but one of these water companies might just clench the thirst of your portfolio.

Disclosure: Author didn’t own any of the above at the time the article was written.

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