Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
So what: Just Energy came through with $859 million in sales for the third quarter, producing profit from continuing operations of $177.5 million, or $0.96 per share. The top line grew 17% over the year-ago quarter, but EPS soared 243% over the year-ago quarter's result of just $0.28. The company added a net 50,000 customers after recording 345,000 total additions and installs for the quarter. Its customer base of 4.6 million is 7% higher year over year. Also promising was news that the company's dividend payout ratio on base funds from continuing operations fell to a sustainable 80% for the quarter as compared to the year-ago quarter's 126% payout ratio.
Now what: Just Energy presently boasts a dividend yield of more than 10% on both exchanges, and the improvement in its payout ratio is a good sign patient income investors. However, Just Energy's stock is now in the high end of a trading range that has been relatively stable for a year after suffering a halving of share prices since early 2012. It's not a cheap stock, but if this performance is indicative of Just Energy's potential, it could eventually head back to those highs. For the moment, it's a reasonably attractive income play.
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Alex Planes has no position in any stocks mentioned, and neither does The Motley Fool. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.