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6 Utility Stocks to Light Up a Portfolio

6. Cleco (CNL), a regional energy services holding company, owns one transmission substation in Louisiana and another in Mississippi. It has two operating subsidiaries: Cleco Power and Cleco Midstream Resources.

Of the seven analysts covering the stock, four rate it a buy and three rate it a hold. There are no sell ratings on the stock. The average 12-month price target of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg is $38.17, 6.2% greater than the current price.

For the third quarter of 2011, Cleco recorded earnings of $65.8 million, or $1.08 per diluted share, vs. $49.6 million, or 82 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2010. Total retail and wholesale customer sales increased 2.2% during the quarter. For the third quarter, Cleco raised its quarterly dividend by 11.6% to 31.25 cents per share.

The company recently provided 2012 guidance, projecting EPS in the range of $2.34 to $2.44, vs. a previous view of $2.25 to $2.35. It has also raised its 2011 operational earnings guidance range to $2.42 to $2.48 per diluted share, compared with an earlier outlook for $2.40 to $2.47. The company estimates a capital-spending plan of $720.7 million for 2012 through 2016.
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NVE $0.00 0.00%
CNL $55.36 0.09%
ALE $56.19 0.00%
ELP $8.27 0.00%
ENI $8.56 6.47%


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