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Insider Monkey
Dividend Growth Investor
Articles (5983) 

Piedmont Natural Gas Dividend Stock Analysis

September 26, 2010 | About:

Piedmont Natural Gas Company, Inc. (NYSE:PNY), an energy services company, distributes natural gas to residential, commercial, industrial, and power generation customers in portions of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. It also operates various energy-related businesses, including unregulated retail natural gas marketing, interstate natural gas storage, and intrastate natural gas transportation.



The company is a member of High Yield Dividend Aristocrats index, and has increased dividends for 32 years in a row. At the latest dividend increase for Piedmont Natural Gas, the company raised its distribution by 3.70% in March 2010.


Over the past decade, this dividend stock has delivered a total return of 11.50% per year on average.

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The company has also enjoyed a persistent increase of earnings per share, to the tune of 5.70% per year on average since 2000. For 2010 and 2011 analysts are expecting EPS of $1.57 and $1.68.

EPS.jpg

The annual dividend per share has increased at a rate of 4.50% per annum on average since the year 2000.

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The dividend payout ratio has been in a downtrend over the past decade, with short bursts up followed by reaching lower levels afterwards. While the payout ratio is higher than my 50% threshold, it is adequate for a utility company. In other words, the dividend is adequately covered from the strong and consistent revenues and earnings.

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The return on equity has stayed in a tight range between 10% and 13% over the past decade.ROE.jpg

Overall I find Piedmont Natural Gas Company to be an attractively valued dividend stock. The company trades at a P/E of 13.80 , yields 4%, and has an adequately covered distribution, which has grown above the rate of inflation over the past decade. I would consider initiating a position in the stock at current prices.



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Dividend Growth Investor
Insider Monkey is a Web site that provides free real-time insider-trading data. Insider Monkey houses a finance blog with commentaries and evidence based articles on the intricacies of investing and market anomalies. Insider Monkey also provides a hybrid evaluation system that exploits the market's insider transactions.

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