First up is Exelon (EXC), a utility name that's been getting extra attention in the last few months thanks to a hungry acquisition strategy. Exelon was the most-bought utility stock by hedge funds last quarter, as pro investors picked up 15.98 million shares of the $32 billion company.
Exelon is a holding company that owns a collection of regulated and unregulated utility assets that includes 34 gigawatts of electrical generating capacity, and a distribution business that reaches more than 6 million electricity and gas customers in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Exelon's bid to buy Pepco (POM) in April would significantly increase the firm's exposure in Maryland around the nation's capital, a complement to the acquisition of Baltimore Gas & Electric's parent company back in 2012.
Exelon's generation mix is attractive right now. The firm generates approximately 20% of the country's nuclear power, giving it big exposure to a very low-cost source of energy. Likewise, its exposure to all corners of the utility market (from generation to distribution to retail to trading) makes it a well-diversified way to get exposure to utilities right now.
Income-seekers can rejoice too: with a dividend yield of 3.9% at current price levels, EXC remains a big payer right now. You could do a lot worse than following hedge funds into this name.