The utilities sector is made up of companies that provide electricity, natural gas, water, sewage, and other services to homes and businesses. Many of these companies are heavily regulated. They include major utilities companies such as Dominion Energy Inc., Duke Energy Corp., and Xcel Energy Inc.
Utilities stocks, as represented by the Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU), an exchange-traded fund, have strongly outpaced the broader U.S. stock market over the past year. XLU has provided a total return of 18.3% over the past 12 months, compared with the Russell 1000 Index’s total return of 9.9. These market performance numbers and all statistics in the tables below are as of March 17, 2022.
Here are the top three utilities stocks with the best value, fastest growth, and most momentum.
These are the utilities stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. Because profits can be returned to shareholders in the form of dividends and buybacks, a low P/E ratio shows that you’re paying less for each dollar of profit generated.
Market Cap ($B)
12-Month Trailing P/E Ratio
NRG Energy Inc. (NRG)
UGI Corp. (UGI)
Brookfield Renewable Corp. (BEPC)
NRG Energy Inc.: NRG Energy is an integrated power company that generates electricity and provides energy solutions and natural gas to residential, commercial, and industrial customers throughout the U.S. and Canada. On Feb. 24, the company announced full-year results for FY 2021 ended Dec. 31, 2021. Net income jumped more than fourfold to $2.4 billion as total operating revenues nearly tripled. The company also reported a net loss of $427 million for the fourth quarter, driven by $1.2 billion of mark-to-market losses on economic hedges.
UGI Corp.: UGI, through its subsidiaries, distributes and markets energy products and services worldwide. The company operates natural gas and electric utilities, distributes energy, manages midstream energy assets, and more.
Brookfield Renewable Corp.: Brookfield Renewable provides renewable energy globally. Its portfolio of renewable energy businesses includes hydroelectric, wind, solar, and storage facilities in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. On Feb. 4, the company reported its highest-ever funds from operations (FFO) per unit for FY 2021 ended Dec. 31, 2021.
These are the top utilities stocks as ranked by a growth model that scores companies based on a 50/50 weighting of their most recent quarterly YOY percentage revenue growth and most recent quarterly YOY earnings-per-share (EPS) growth. Both sales and earnings are critical factors in the success of a company. Therefore, ranking companies by only one growth metric makes a ranking susceptible to the accounting anomalies of that quarter (such as changes in tax law or restructuring costs) that may make one figure or the other unrepresentative of the business in general. Companies with a quarterly EPS or revenue growth of more than 2,500% were excluded as outliers.
Market Cap ($B)
EPS Growth (%)
Revenue Growth (%)
OGE Energy Corp. (OGE)
DTE Energy Co. (DTE)
Consolidated Edison Inc. (ED)
OGE Energy Corp: OGE Energy is the holding company with investments in energy and energy service providers offering physical delivery for electricity in Oklahoma and western Arkansas. It is the parent company of Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. On Feb. 24, the company reported results for Q4 FY 2021 ended Dec. 31, 2021. Net income rose about sixfold to $319 million on rising operating revenues. Net income growth was fueled primarily by a net gain of $265 million on the company’s Enable merger transaction. Excluding the merger, net income was affected by warmer weather in the fourth quarter.DTE Energy Co.: DTE Energy is a Detroit-based diversified energy company with operating units that include a electric utility serving customers in southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving customers throughout Michigan.Consolidated Edison Inc.: Consolidated Edison provides power generation and energy distribution services through its subsidiaries to customers throughout the U.S. It operates regulated electric, gas, and steam utility facilities, and develops and operates renewable and energy infrastructure assets. On Feb. 17, the company reported results for full-year and Q4 2021 ended Dec. 31, 2021. Net income rose sharply as total operating revenues increased during both periods, including about a fourfold increase in net income in Q4.
These are the utilities stocks that had the highest total return over the past 12 months.
Market Cap ($B)
12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
CenterPoint Energy Inc. (CNP)
NiSource Inc. (NI)
Vistra Corp. (VST)
Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU)
CenterPoint Energy Inc.: CenterPoint Energy is a domestic energy delivery company. It provides electric transmission and distribution, natural gas distribution, and energy services operations. On Feb. 22, the company reported income available to common shareholders of $641 million for Q4 2021 and $1.4 billion in income for FY 2021. NiSource Inc.: NiSource is a regulated natural gas and electric utility company. Through its Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands, the company serves natural gas and electric customers in six states.
Consolidated Edison Inc.: See company description above.
The comments, opinions, and analyses expressed herein are for informational purposes only and should not be considered individual investment advice or recommendations to invest in any security or adopt any investment strategy. Though we believe the information provided herein is reliable, we do not warrant its accuracy or completeness. The views and strategies described in our content may not be suitable for all investors. Because market and economic conditions are subject to rapid change, all comments, opinions, and analyses n our content are rendered as of the date of the posting and may change without notice. The material is not intended as a complete analysis of every material fact regarding any country, region, market, industry, investment, or strategy.
YCharts. “Financial Data.” Accessed March 17, 2022.
Brookfield Renewable. “Brookfield Renewable Announces Record Results and 5% Distribution Increase.”
Consolidated Edison. “CON EDISON REPORTS 2021 EARNINGS.”
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