I love bargain stocks, especially when they're hitting 52-week lows. Still, it can be instructive to also look at stocks that are riding high.

For one thing, they can make good sell candidates. More optimistically, we may be able to find a few companies that can continue their upward climbs.

In this series, I'll be searching industry by industry for stocks reaching 52-week highs. That way, we'll be able to make a few quick comparisons among semi-related companies.

There are 24 industry groups as defined by the Global Industry Classification Standard (GICS). Utilities is one of them.

Below are the top seven companies in this space, by market cap, that are within spitting distance of their 52-week highs.

Company

Recent Price

52-Week Low

52-Week High

P/E Ratio (Trailing)

Southern (NYSE: SO)

$38.18

$30.90

$38.62

15.3

Dominion Resources (NYSE: D)

$44.46

$34.00

$45.12

10.0

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK)

$17.77

$15.50

$18.08

34.9

NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE)

$54.85

$45.30

$56.57

12.3

PG&E (NYSE: PCG)

$47.67

$35.00

$48.34

15.5

American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP)

$36.46

$28.20

$37.16

15.1

Public Service Enterprise Group (NYSE: PEG)

$33.33

$29.00

$34.93

10.9

Sources: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's; and Yahoo! Finance.

Stop me if you've seen a couple of these companies before. Duke and Public Service also showed up on my list of utilities near 52-week lows.

You're unlikely to find the next home run dividend stock in this group, but there are some nice dividend yields here. None of these seven pays a yield less than 3%. You'll still have to do some due diligence, though, to make sure the dividends are sustainable.     

If you're interested in reading more about any of these stocks, add them to My Watchlist to find all of our Foolish analysis on them.

Anand Chokkavelu doesn't own shares of any company mentioned. He posts his favorite articles on his Twitter feed.

Dominion Resources and Southern are Motley Fool Income Investor recommendations. Duke Energy is a former Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. The Fool owns shares of and has written covered calls on NextEra Energy. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't 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.