NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Providing clean water all over the world is a significant global challenge, both for water utility stocks and for conservationists. In a 2012 article, I mentioned that the United Nations and organizations such as Water.org were addressing this problem. Today I focus on water conservation on Main Street -- where water bills are higher due to new water meters and the general overuse of water.
I live in a community in Pasco County, Fla., just north of Tampa. A few months ago Pasco County Utilities installed new water meters to improve billing for the 960 homes in the area where I live. Since December 2013, my water bill went from $142.98 to $164.74. My community was featured on the local NBC affiliate TV station WFLA in Tampa, when a resident called in with the complaint that Pasco County Utilities was over-charging consumers.
But high water bills may make water utility stocks more appealing for investors.
My advice to homeowners around the country is to conserve water, have your sprinkler system inspected and make sure you are using your system in compliance with local regulations.
That, and consider investing.
Here are the water utility stocks to consider as investments for both gains and dividends. Some of these companies cover one or two cities, others have services in many states, and one or two have businesses outside the U.S., including Ontario, Canada, the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas.
Today's first "crunching the numbers" table shows that only four out of 12 stocks are above all five key moving averages. I included the 12-month trailing price-to-earnings ratios and the dividend yields.
Consolidated Water (CWCO) ($10.90) has the highest P/E ratio at 47.3, and has gained 36% since June 15, 2012. This stock is below four of five moving averages, making its 200-week simple moving average at $9.95 a key support. Its 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic is rising and thus a weekly close above its five-week modified moving average at $11.39 would be positive for this stock.
This company reports quarterly results on Aug. 1, and analysts expect earnings per share to be 7 cents.
Monthly and annual value levels are $9.44 and $9.13, respectively, with a weekly pivot at $10.37 and annual and quarterly risky levels at $13.93 and $14.50, respectively.
Veolia Environment (VE) ($17.75) has the largest dividend yield at 4.67%, but this stock has a negative weekly chart with its five-week MMA at $18.88 and its 200-week SMA at $17.67 as a key level to hold. This stock was the water bubble stock, trading as high as $96.61 in December 2007. The stock has been below its 200-day SMA at $17.87 for the past two days.
This company reports quarterly results on Aug. 28, but there are no analysts' earnings estimates as of today.
A semiannual value level is $13.54, with a quarterly pivot at $18.21 and monthly and annual risky levels at $19.13 and $22.27, respectively.
The biggest gainer since June 15, 2012, is Pure Cycle Corp (PCYO) ($6.53), with a gain of 201% since then. This stock is above all five key moving averages with a positive weekly chart, with its five-week MMA at $6.21.
This company reports quarterly results Thursday, and analysts expect an earnings-per-share loss of a penny.
Monthly and semiannual value levels are $5.67 and $5.59, respectively, with weekly and quarterly risky levels at $6.94 and $7.92, respectively.
The second "crunching the numbers" table gives investors the analysts' earnings-per-share estimates, as these companies report quarterly results between July 10 and Aug. 28.
Next up: the technical charts.