HAUPPAUGE, N.Y., Feb. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Target Rock Advisors, LLC today released the results of its first proprietary U.S. utility sustainability rankings and related stock indexes. The company has identified 15 "high performance" domestic energy utilities that excel in sustainable operations. The top 5 utilities among the 15 are:
- Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE)
- Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE: XEL)
- PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG)
- Edison International (NYSE: EIX)
- Avista Corporation (NYSE: AVA)
The 15 US companies comprise the Target Rock High Sustainability Index. They were selected based on performance scores and rankings assigned by Target Rock's sustainability scoring system, which relies primarily on actual operating results. It systematically addresses the three classic pillars of sustainability: environment, economy and society, also referred to as the "triple bottom line".
As a group, the stocks of the utilities in the index out-performed both utility-specific sector indexes and broader market indexes, such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500, for the ten year period ending December 31, 2011. The results can be viewed at www.targetrockadvisors.com."There is a growing focus on sustainability, both globally and within the U.S. However, the metrics for effectively assessing sustainable performance by utilities has been lacking," stated Richard Rudden, chief executive of Target Rock. "Investing in the sustainable utility sector appears to make a lot of sense," he said, "Many pension funds and aging investor populations seek less volatile, longer term returns comprised largely of current income through dividends, but with moderate upside stock price potential as well." Assets under management by socially responsible investment funds could reach $9 trillion in the U.S. alone by 2015. According to Rudden, investor-owned public utilities are an under-appreciated asset class and an opportunity for investors with an appetite for sustainable investments without sacrificing long term return potential. Until now, there have been no sector-specific sustainability indexes focused exclusively on publicly-traded utilities in the U.S. "This is surprising when you consider how complex and different the utility segment is from the other industry segments that are normally included in multi-segment indexes," according to Kyle Rudden, co-founder and partner at Target Rock and the chief architect of both the scoring system and indexes. "There is a tremendous need for a utility index based on a sophisticated knowledge of the sector. Institutional investors and asset managers have lacked a system that offers highly useful sustainability performance information." In addition to its indexes, Target Rock provides the utility industry executives, with critical services to assist companies, both large and small, in meeting their sustainability objectives. Through Target Rock's benchmarks and indexes, the company can assist utility clients in identifying areas for performance improvement and best practices that may lead to improved brand image, attract coverage by industry analysts and pique investor interest.
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