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International Energy Portfolio — Conservative Holdings

By Roger S. Conrad on Nov. 25, 2013

Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp (TSX: AQN, OTC: AQUNF)

Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp grew its revenue over the first nine months of 2013 by 123.9 percent from year-ago levels, with much of this growth attributable to acquisitions of regulated water, gas and electric utilities in North America.

Against this backdrop, we expect Algonquin Power & Utilities to boost its dividend once again in March 2014. And the company plans CA$500 million in accretive system improvements that will fuel growth in 2014 and beyond. These projects include the utility’s first solar-power installation and a waste-to-energy facility.

A weak electricity market has put the company under pressure, prompting management to delay a solar-power project in Ontario. Algonquin Power & Utilities also operates in some areas where relations with local regulators could be better.

But the utility’s solid earnings and a recent credit-rating upgrade from Standard & Poor’s are a testament to management’s capable handling of these challenges. The backing of fellow utility Emera (TSX: EMA, OTC: EMRAF), which owns a 23.9 percent interest in Algonquin Power & Utilities, is another point of strength

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