Featured Trades: (NEE), (PGE), (ALTERNATIVE ENERGY)
2) A Peek at Your Energy Future. If you want to get a preview of what an electric power utility of the future looks like, take a look at the old Florida Power and Light, which has reinvented itself as Nextera (NEE). Its shares have morphed from the high dividend kind that was the domain of widows and orphans, to a low dividend growth stock. The strategy has made it the top total returning utility in the industry for the past five years. NEE has expanded outside of the sunshine state and now sells power in 28 states. With 20% of its power coming from wind and solar, it is the largest renewable utility in the country. It has invested $10 billion in wind alone in the last ten years, and management believes that solar is ready for a leap of the same magnitude. This is becoming increasingly important, as a growing number of states, like California, have mandated alternative generation targets for the private sector. NEE is also big in natural gas and nuclear (click here for my piece on the nuclear renaissance). Power utilities account for 40% of the CO2 emissions in the US, and they can expect the public glare to intensify. NEE says they can make it work. Their strategy has enabled them to cut emissions by 30%, while keeping rates for consumers 19% below the national average. Pacific Gas & Electric (PGE), please take note.