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An integrated gas and electric holding company. The company is engaged in the generation, transmission and distribution of power for sale in Virginia and northeastern North Carolina.
I tried to consider which stocks would have relatively low volatility during this tumultuous economic climate. My goal was to find a company that provides a service or product that people really need or, better yet, has their customers committed into paying a monthly bill and they do so happily. Preferably, this company provides good reliable service, pays a handsome dividend and has a positive, long-term economic outlook.This Richmond, Virginia-based company has been in the electric business for over 100 years. They currently serve more than 5 million retail energy customers and they have rewarded their investors with 334 consecutive dividend payments. The current majority of their electric production comes from coal (46%) and nuclear (41%), but they have begun construction on a natural gas processing plant in West Virginia and they continue to grow their renewable energy sources from wind, hydro and biomass. As a Dominion customer, I have experienced very good service from them getting a person on the phone, getting someone to come out to my house, setting up new service and they are pretty good servicing outages (as compared with the utility across the Potomac, PEPCO). There are other electric utilities that could be a wonderful investment opportunity (Southern Company, the American Electric Power Company and the aforementioned Pepco Holdings Inc.), but I have this warm feeling that every time I pay my electric bill, some miniscule portion of my payment will be returned to me in the form of a dividend.
A recent front page newspaper article in our local paper (The Baltimore Sun dated Feb. 11 2012) describing a favorable ruling for a near-by energy company,has caught my attention..The company, well known Dominion Resources Inc., has received approval from the Department of Energy to begin "exporting" liquefied natural gas to some 20 countries abroad. This could bring huge results to Dominion's bottom line.The relatively close proximity to the Marcellus shale deposits in neighboring West Virginia and Pennsylvania make the conveyance of this abundant resource to Dominion's Cove Point facility located in the Chesapeake Bay,very attractive.Current demand for this clean burning energy has been on the rise in foreign countries such as Japan which has had recent issues involving nuclear power.Add to this a recent influx of insider buying (one of my favorite "buy" indicators), and an appealing dividend to boot,this stock could turn out to be a market outperformer.Keep an eye on this one!
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