On page 18 of this weekend’s issue, Barron’s reviewed the performance of their 2016 picks. (see here) One thing that is interesting to note is there was not a single utility in this list. One explanation could be the big run that the group had early in the year. Also, the threat of higher interest rates from the Fed probably scared the magazine away.
Source: January Utility Stats Monthly (results as of Jan. 1)
You can see in the table above that for the year utilities actually had a pretty respectable showing. But you can also see that during the second half of the year it was the weakest performing sector. There were some definite winners in the group like DTE and EIX, both up near 20% for the year, but the big picture issues made choosing any utility a complicated decision in 2016.
It will be interesting to see if Barron’s picks a utility name this year. Keep an eye out for this, because it has been a while.