UTILITY PLAY

Physician's Money Digest, July31 2003, Volume 10, Issue 14

Forbes

Forbes

Now that dividends are on a level tax playing field with capital gains, utilities, which traditionally pay generous dividends, are getting some play. The Dow Jones Utility Average was up more than 14% by mid-June. Not all utilities are created equal, however. According to magazine, electric utilities that use coal or nuclear power to generate electricity are better candidates for investment than utilities that rely heavily on natural gas to power their plants. Gas now produces almost 20% of the nation's power, but at a cost of 2 to 4 times as much as coal- or nuclear generated power. What's more, natural gas prices are spiking again, and industry analysts don't see any short-term relief. recommends electric utilities that use coal and nuclear energy to generate most of their power, such as Allegheny Energy, Cinergy, Texas Genco Holdings, and TXU.