Here's Why You Should Add Unitil (UTL) to Your Portfolio Now

Unitil Corporation UTL is poised for growth, given planned investments over the next three years to strengthen the natural gas and distribution system network. This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) utility is a promising bet at the moment, courtesy of consistent customer growth, focus on modernizing infrastructure and initiatives to increase its shareholders’ value.

Growth Projections: The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 earnings per share (EPS) is pegged at $2.32 on $455 million revenues. The bottom and top lines are expected to rise 4% and 2.5% year over year, respectively.

The consensus mark for 2020 earnings is pegged at $2.47 per share on revenues of $471 million. While the bottom line translates to a 6.47% increase, the top line suggests a 3.52% improvement on a year-over-year basis.

Its long-term (three to five years) earnings per share growth is expected to be 4.4%.

Impressive Price Performance: Shares of Unitil have rallied 15.2% in the past 12 months, outperforming the industry and the S&P 500 Index’s 11.2% and 3.1% growth, respectively.

Price Performance (One Year)

Upward Estimate Revisions & Surprise History: The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings for the current year and 2020 has been revised 0.9% and 0.8% upward, respectively, over the past 60 days.

The company delivered average positive earnings surprise of 215.05% in the trailing four quarters.
Consistent Dividend:
Unitil has been paying dividends for the past three decades and raising dividend annually over the past five years. Currently, its dividend yield of 2.53% is better than the S&P 500 composite's 1.97%.

Other Stocks to Consider

Other top-ranked stocks from the same space include Alliant Energy Corporation LNT, IDACORP Inc. IDA and NRG Energy, Inc. NRG. While Alliant Energy and IDACORP hold a Zacks Rank of 2, NRG Energy sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see tthe complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Alliant Energy’s long-term earnings growth is projected at 5.5%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 EPS has moved up 0.5% in the past 90 days to $2.25.

IDACORP’s long-term earnings growth projection is 3.9%. The consensus mark for 2019 earnings has been revised upward by 0.2% in the past 90 days to $4.47.

NRG Energy’s long-term earnings growth is estimated to be 36.3%. The consensus mark for the bottom line for 2019 has been upwardly revised by 4.9% in the past 30 days to $4.04.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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