2014-03-06 01:37:02 - Water Utilities - Industry Analysis - a new market research report on companiesandmarkets.com
The Water Utility Industry is made up of domestic companies responsible for the safe and timely distribution of water and other related services, such as wastewater treatment. Most water systems are local or regional, but some of the companies under our review have operations across many states. Since water is an essential resource, it would be easy to assume that the stocks of these companies would be high fliers. Demand from the industrial, agricultural and residential markets is expanding and the supply of potable water is shrinking. Big earnings and share-price gains have not been the case, here, however. The industry is subject to regulation, which can raise service costs, while limiting rates and return on investment. This
sector is mature and capital intensive. Water utility stocks are not growth issues, but they do usually offer solid yields and regular dividend increases. Too, they are good holdings for capital preservation. Heavy infrastructure outlays have led to highly levered balance sheets, and the companies have had to carefully manage significant operating costs and interest expense to maintain attractive dividend payout ratios. This group of equities often gains popularity when economic times are especially harsh and the broader stock market is in a downturn. Operations are seasonal, with demand highest during the summer months. Periods of excessively dry or wet weather can cause near-term share-price volatility, but such swings are generally not dramatic.
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