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The hottest stock-market sector in the -2-

Keeping the list in the same order, here are 12-month sales and earnings-per-share growth figures for the group through the most recently reported fiscal quarter-ends.

Company                               Ticker  12-month revenue change  12-month sales-per-share change  EPS - past 12 months  EPS year earlier 12-month period  Change in EPS 
PPL Corp.                             US:PPL                      -1%                              -5%                 $2.43                             $2.00            22% 
Dominion Energy Inc.                  US:D                      13%                               1%                 $1.46                             $4.75           -69% 
Southern Co.                          US:SO                      -8%                             -11%                 $4.23                             $2.32            83% 
Duke Energy Corp.                     US:DUK                       3%                               0%                 $4.53                             $3.95            15% 
CenterPoint Energy Inc.               US:CNP                      15%                               2%                 $1.13                             $3.58           -68% 
AES Corp.                             US:AES                       0%                              -9%                 $0.59                             $0.59             0% 
Edison International                  US:EIX                       5%                               5%                -$0.77                             $1.27          -160% 
FirstEnergy Corp.                     US:FE                       1%                             -23%                 $2.07                            -$4.50          -146% 
Consolidated Edison Inc.              US:ED                       2%                               0%                 $4.21                             $5.07           -17% 
Entergy Corp.                         US:ETR                      -3%                              -6%                 $5.10                             $1.62           215% 
Public Service Enterprise Group Inc.  US:PEG                       6%                               7%                 $2.88                             $4.29           -33% 
Pinnacle West Capital Corp.           US:PNW                       1%                               0%                 $4.47                             $4.16             7% 
Exelon Corp.                          US:EXC                       1%                               1%                 $2.34                             $3.94           -41% 
American Electric Power Co. Inc.      US:AEP                      -1%                              -2%                 $3.99                             $3.90             2% 
Evergy Inc.                           US:EVRG                      81%                               7%                 $2.36                             $2.32             2% 
DTE Energy Co.                        US:DTE                       2%                               1%                 $6.05                             $6.39            -5% 
NiSource Inc.                         US:NI                       4%                              -5%                 $0.30                             $0.77           -61% 
Sempra Energy                         US:SRE                       8%                              -8%                 $6.88                            -$2.54          -371% 
Alliant Energy Corp                   US:LNT                       2%                               0%                 $2.16                             $2.09             3% 
Eversource Energy                     US:ES                       7%                               7%                 $2.71                             $3.18           -15% 
Xcel Energy Inc.                      US:XEL                       2%                               1%                 $2.45                             $2.43             1% 
WEC Energy Group Inc                  US:WEC                       0%                               0%                 $3.46                             $4.00           -14% 
Ameren Corp.                          US:AEE                      -3%                              -4%                 $3.22                             $2.52            28% 
CMS Energy Corp.                      US:CMS                       3%                               2%                 $2.06                             $1.94             6% 
NextEra Energy Inc.                   US:NEE                       2%                               0%                 $6.95                            $17.30           -60% 
Atmos Energy Corp.                    US:ATO                      -7%                             -12%                 $4.23                             $5.46           -23% 
American Water Works Co.              US:AWK                       4%                               3%                 $3.21                             $2.62            23% 
NRG Energy Inc.                       US:NRG                       0%                              -6%                 $1.81                            -$3.09          -159% 
                                                                                                                                                               Source: FactSet 

We have included sales per share, as well as raw revenue growth figures because the per-share numbers will be lower if any dilution has taken place through the net issuance of new shares to fund acquisitions or for other purposes. The per-share numbers will be higher if the share count has declined because of share repurchases. Evergy (EVRG) is an example -- the company (formerly Monarch Energy) acquired Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy in June 2018.

The high number of utility companies showing extreme variance in earnings per share for the most recent 12-month period shows that this is an industry in flux, with mergers, unit sales and more complicated deals being announced almost continually. So if you are looking to invest in individual utility stocks, you better do your homework.

Here's a summary of sell-side analysts' opinions of the group:

Company                               Ticker  Share 'buy' ratings  Share neutral ratings  Share 'sell' ratings  Closing price - Oct. 1  Consensus price target  Implied 12-month upside potential 
PPL Corp.                             US:PPL                  21%                    72%                    7%                  $31.31                  $32.17                                 3% 
Dominion Energy Inc.                  US:D                  33%                    67%                    0%                  $81.22                  $81.31                                 0% 
Southern Co.                          US:SO                  11%                    58%                   32%                  $61.88                  $57.96                                -6% 
Duke Energy Corp.                     US:DUK                  22%                    61%                   17%                  $96.19                  $95.13                                -1% 
CenterPoint Energy Inc.               US:CNP                  65%                    35%                    0%                  $29.89                  $32.13                                 8% 
AES Corp.                             US:AES                  40%                    60%                    0%                  $16.24                  $18.44                                14% 
Edison International                  US:EIX                  53%                    47%                    0%                  $73.90                  $79.07                                 7% 
FirstEnergy Corp.                     US:FE                  67%                    28%                    5%                  $47.89                  $48.22                                 1% 
Consolidated Edison Inc.              US:ED                  12%                    47%                   41%                  $94.10                  $89.40                                -5% 
Entergy Corp.                         US:ETR                    63%                    31%                    6%                 $117.32                 $115.07                                -2% 
Public Service Enterprise Group Inc.  US:PEG                  53%                    41%                    6%                  $61.70                  $64.00                                 4% 
Pinnacle West Capital Corp.           US:PNW                  20%                    60%                   20%                  $97.31                  $97.50                                 0% 
Exelon Corp.                          US:EXC                  69%                    26%                    5%                  $47.98                  $52.97                                10% 
American Electric Power Co. Inc.      US:AEP                  47%                    48%                    5%                  $93.22                  $93.78                                 1% 
Evergy Inc.                           US:EVRG                  60%                    20%                   20%                  $66.28                  $65.89                                -1% 
DTE Energy Co.                        US:DTE                  37%                    44%                   19%                 $133.19                 $134.61                                 1% 
NiSource Inc.                         US:NI                  36%                    57%                    7%                  $29.73                  $30.04                                 1% 
Sempra Energy                         US:SRE                  57%                    36%                    7%                 $146.08                 $151.08                                 3% 
Alliant Energy Corp                   US:LNT                  22%                    67%                   11%                  $53.89                  $52.38                                -3% 

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10-08-19 1011ET

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