Stock Quotes in this Article: UNS, UTG, WGL

The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet’s guest contributor program, which is separate from the company’s news coverage. The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

SAN FRANCISCO (Stockerblog) -- Income investors like the dividends they receive from gas and electric utilities, but they love dividend increases. If investors reinvest their dividends, then compounding can be significantly greater when the dividends are rising.

In the last couple months, a few of the top yielding utility stocks we track WallStreetNewsNetwork.com boosted their dividend payouts.

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    For example, the Arizona based electric utility, UniSource Energy (UNS), bumped up its quarterly dividend to 42 cents a share, an increase of 7.7%. The stock trades at 13 times forward earnings and has a yield of 4.7%.

    WGL Holdings (WGL) is a U.S. natural gas distributor that serves Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia. The company is now paying a quarterly dividend of 38.75 cents per share, up 2.6% from its previous payout. The stock has a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 16 and yields 4.1%.

    For investors looking for diversification, the Reaves Utility Income Fund (UTG) is a closed end fund that trades on the NYSE American Stock Exchange. The fund increased its monthly dividend by 8.7% to 12.5 cents per share, giving a yield of about 5.6%. This is the fifth dividend increase since 2004.

    To access a free list of all the top-yielding electric and gas utility stocks, visit WallStreetNewsnetwork.com.

    At the time of writing, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

     

    Fred Fuld III, the publisher of stock and bond investing blog Stockerblog and founder of WallStreetNewsNetwork, has been in the financial services industry for over 20 years, working as an investment advisor, options market maker at the Pacific Stock Exchange, vice president of a San Francisco money management firm, university faculty member and wholesaler for the New Alternatives Fund (the first environmentally conscious mutual fund). He is the author of the books Investing in Brazil Stocks and The Green Light on Green Stocks.