On Oct 17, 2013, Zacks Investment Research upgraded natural
gas utility operator
The Laclede Group Inc.
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Why the Upgrade?
The company delivered earnings surprises in three out of the
last four quarters with an average beat of 48.81%. The long-term
expected earnings growth of Laclede Group is set at an
Laclede Group's acquisition of Missouri Gas Energy assets in
early Sep 2013 will expand the company's customer base. This
purchase will elevate Laclede Group's position as a leading gas
service provider in the state of Missouri.
The upcoming winter is expected to drive electricity sales of
the company as the Energy Information Administration predicts
natural gas consumption on an average to increase to 70.0 billion
cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) in 2013 compared with 69.7 Bcf/d in
Gas utilities like Laclede Group will stay a step ahead in the
energy race as the Environmental Protection Agency's new proposal
for carbon emission reduction has put major coal-fired operators'
future plans on a back burner.
Furthermore, Laclede Group's registered operating cash flow
growth of 30.3% to $167.0 million in the nine months ended Jun
30, 2013 compared with $128.2 million in the nine months ended
Jun 30, 2012 will allow the company to effectively finance its
Other Stocks to Consider
Other natural gas utility companies looking attractive at the
moment are Zacks Ranked #2 (Buy)
Atmos Energy Corp.
Piedmont Natural Gas Company, Inc.
Southwest Gas Corp.
ATMOS ENERGY CP (ATO): Free Stock Analysis
LACLEDE GRP INC (LG): Free Stock Analysis
PIEDMONT NAT GA (PNY): Free Stock Analysis
SOUTHWEST GAS (SWX): Free Stock Analysis
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