Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Beat Volatility With This Rock-Solid Dividend Giant

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

As tech hot fads and long shots continue to come and go in today's market, conservative investors have seen reliable utility stocks like Consolidated Edison (NYSE: ED  ) delivering tried-and-true dividends. Let's take a look at why Con Ed might just be the safest bet for this uncertain economy.

Solid and steady wins the race...
Con Ed provides power, gas, and steam services to New York City and its surrounding areas -- a gargantuan consumer base always in need of power. The company has parlayed this advantage into a dividend-generating machine: Con Ed has increased dividends for 37 straight years without fail and has soundly beaten the S&P 500 for more than 30 years.

That's commitment you can rely on, even if it's from an inglorious sector such as the utilities industry. Con Ed's position in the Big Apple gives it access to a growing population, a critical point necessary for utility corporations to grow. New York City's population swelled by almost 70,000 between March 2010 and July 2011, representing the U.S.'s fourth-largest metropolitan population boost in that time.

Compared to the 2000-2010 gain of only 175,000 residents, that's a significant jump -- bolstered by the flight of young people to New York City. Given that the recession has pushed urban growth higher than in the suburbs, Con Ed should continue to see its expanding consumer base blossom in future years.

...but it isn't all investor glee
Unfortunately for Con Ed, the stock looks only average when matched up with other major national utility providers.



Dividend Yield

Dividend Payout

5-Year Dividend Growth Rate

Consolidated Edison 17.1 3.8% 67% 0.8%
American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP  ) 10.5 4.3% 46% 3.5%
Dominion (NYSE: D  ) 23.1 3.9% 87% 7.1%
Exelon (NYSE: EXC  ) 16.2 5.5% 87% 3.9%

Sources: Yahoo! Finance and Motley Fool CAPS.

It's not all ho-hum for Con Ed; the company boasts an industry-beating long-term debt-to-equity ratio of 0.85 and a healthy, growing net margin. Still, for those simply looking for larger income, Exelon's 5.5% and Southern Company's (NYSE: SO  ) 4.2% yields look mighty attractive, with five-year growth rates exceeding 3% for each.

For security and peace of mind, however, investors wary of market volatility couldn't do much better than Con Ed. Those looking for steady safety in the storm could anchor their portfolio on this consistent producer. The power of secure dividends can safeguard portfolios in the worst of market climates. To check out three more rock-solid income picks, see your copy of The Motley Fool's free report, "The 3 Dow Stocks Dividend Investors Need."

Fool contributor Dan Carroll holds no positions in the stocks mentioned in this article. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Exelon, Southern, and Dominion Resources. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (3)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1992074, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/24/2016 9:55:44 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 39 minutes ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,223.03 77.32 0.43%
S&P 500 2,151.33 10.17 0.47%
NASD 5,309.83 52.43 1.00%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/24/2016 4:01 PM
ED $73.17 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Consolidated Ediso… CAPS Rating: ****
AEP $63.03 Up +0.55 +0.88%
American Electric… CAPS Rating: *****
D $73.12 Up +0.28 +0.38%
Dominion Resources CAPS Rating: ***
EXC $32.65 Up +0.15 +0.46%
Exelon CAPS Rating: ****
SO $50.85 Up +0.32 +0.63%
Southern Company CAPS Rating: ***