Midwest utilities: 1 buy & 1 hold

Article Excerpt

U.S. President Donald Trump recently pulled his country out of the 2015 Paris Accord on Climate Change. Even so, many U.S. states plan to keep forcing power producers to replace their coal-burning plants with renewable power sources such as wind and solar. As regulated utilities, Ameren and Alliant can pass along most of those extra costs to their customers. Alliant, in particular, is also well-positioned to comply with new environmental standards. That will give it more room to increase its dividend. AMEREN CORP. $60 (New York symbol AEE; Income Portfolio, Utilities sector; Shares outstanding: 242.6 million; Market cap: $14.6 billion; Price-to-sales ratio: 2.4; Dividend yield: 2.9%; TSINetwork Rating: Average; www. ameren.com) provides power and natural gas to 3.3 million clients in Illinois and Missouri. In the three months ended June 30, 2017, Ameren’s earnings jumped 29.5%, to $0.79 from $0.61 a year earlier. Revenue improved 7.8%, to $1.5 billion from $1.4 billion. Those gains are mainly due to higher power rates in Missouri…

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