The Commerce Department said on Monday that there was a modest 0.2 percent increase in consumer spending during the month of March.
The increase was largely the result of higher demand for utilities during some particularly harsh weather in parts of the country last month. Despite the fact that spending on goods was down, the news helped propel stocks higher for the day.
The following are 10 small and mid-cap utility stocks with positive quarter over quarter sales growth whose shares have increased in price over 2013, suggesting that these companies have benefited from the rough weather that has been seen especially across the southern and eastern portions of the U.S.:
Clean Energy Fuels Corp (CLNE) – Clean Energy Fuels is a country-wide provider of natural gas for transportation, as well as a provider of natural gas compression technology whose board of directors seats T. Boone Pickens, who founded the company’s predecessor. The company’s market cap is $1.17 billion, with shares currently trading for $13.27, up 6.6 percent for 2013. Quarter over quarter sales growth is just a hare shy of 15 percent, at 14.96.
Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (CPK) – The East coast utility provides energy for Florida, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. With a market cap of $505.2 million, shares are trading at $52.57 on a 16.64 percent increase year-to-date. Quarter over quarter sales growth is 5.32 percent.
New Jersey Resources Corp (NJR) – The New Jersey utility company has a market cap just shy of $2 billion, with shares trading at $46.64. NJR operates where some of the worst weather so far this year has been seen, and has seen shares up 18.77 percent since the start of 2013. Quarter over quarter sales growth is 14.5 percent.
Summit Midstream Partners (SMLP) – The $1.34 billion company owns and operates energy infrastructure in Georgia, Texas, and Colorado. Shares are trading at $27.45, up just over 41 percent for 2013. Sales have grown over 23 percent quarter over quarter.
AmeriGas Partners LP (APU) – AmeriGas Partners is a provider of propane for commercial, residential, industrial, and agricultural use. The company’s market cap is $4.09 billion, with shares up almost 16 percent in 2013 at $44.07. Sales are currently growing 28.2 percent quarter over quarter.
Atlas Energy LP (ATLS) – The $2.6 billion producer, transporter and processor of natural gas that is also involved in exploration projects in Oklahoma and Texas. Shares are currently trading for $50.69, an increase of 47.06 percent for the year. Quarter over quarter sales growth is 5.65 percent.
AGL Resources Inc. (GAS) – AGL Resources, based in Atlanta, boasts of being the largest natural gas-only distribution company in the United States. AGL has a market cap of $5.19 billion with shares trading at $44.04, up 11.5 percent in 2013. Quarter over quarter, sales have grown at a rate of 54.18 percent.
Piedmont Natural Gas Co. Inc. (PNY) – Piedmont has a market cap of $2.58 billion, with shares currently trading at $34.21, up 10.3 percent on the year. The utility operates in Tennessee, as well as North and South Carolina, and sales have grown quarter over by 9.33 percent.
Suburban Propane Partners LP (SPH) – The New Jersey-based company is a provider of propane, oil and refined fuels, and sells natural gas and electricity to deregulated markets. The $2.76 billion utility has shares that trade for $48.50, an increase of 27.5 percent on the year. Quarter over quarter sales growth is a huge 63.3 percent.
Integrys Energy Group Inc. (TEG) – The Midwest-based holding company has a market cap of $4.82 billion, with shares currently trading at $61.40, up just over 19 percent for the year. Sales have grown 6.20 percent quarter over quarter.
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