The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

March 9, 2013

Empire District, Laclede get favorable ranking in Dividend Channel report


From staff reports

JOPLIN, Mo. — Forbes magazine reported this week that Dividend Channel has named both The Empire District Electric Co. and Laclede Group a “Top 10 dividend paying utility stock.”

The report was first published in Dividend Channel’s weekly ”DividendRank” analysis.

It noted that among utilities, Laclede and Empire shares “displayed both attractive valuation metrics and strong profitability metrics.”

The recent Laclede share price of $40.78 represents a price-to-book ratio of 1.5 and an annual dividend yield of 4.17 percent. By comparison, the average utility stock in Dividend Channel’s coverage universe yields under 4 percent and trades at a price-to-book ratio of 1.8.

Laclede is buying Missouri Gas Energy, which provides natural gas to Joplin residences and businesses.

The report also noted that Empire’s recent share price of $21.45 represents a price-to-book ratio of 1.3 and an annual dividend yield of 4.67 percent.