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4 Reasons to Add CenterPoint Energy (CNP) to Your Portfolio

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CenterPoint Energy’s (CNP - Free Report) solid long-term investment plan to strengthen and expand its infrastructure and ongoing addition of electric and natural gas customers will continue boosting its performance.

Let’s focus on the factors that make this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock a strong investment pick at the moment. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Growth Projections

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 and 2022 earnings per share is pegged at $1.41 and $1.51, respectively. The bottom-line estimates have increased 5.2% and 7%, respectively, in the past 60 days.

Long-Term Earnings Growth & Surprise History

Long-term earnings growth (three to five years) is currently pegged at 5%.

CenterPoint Energy’s positive earnings surprise was 13.2% in the past four reported quarters, on average.

Return on Equity& Dividend Yield

Return on Equity (ROE) indicates how efficiently a company is utilizing shareholders’ funds to generate returns. At present, its ROE is 14.78%, higher than the industry average of 10.03%. The company’s better ROE than the industry indicates that it is using funds more efficiently than its peers in the same space.

Currently, the company has a dividend yield of 2.73%, higher than the Zacks S&P 500 Composite’s 1.44%.

Regular Investments & Steady Customer Growth

CenterPoint Energy makes consistent investments to upgrade and maintain the existing infrastructure, as well as expand operations. The company expects to invest $13.2 billion from 2020 through 2024 to further strengthen its existing operation and serve its expanding customer base more efficiently.

CenterPoint Energy’s steady growth in customer count has primarily driven its performance over the last several quarters. Notably, during the third quarter, the company added 18,394 new meter customers under its Houston Electric Transmission & Distribution segment and 102 customers under its Indiana Electric Integrated segment. CenterPoint Energy also added 10,228 users to its Natural Gas Distribution unit and 12,091 customers to the CERC Natural Gas Distribution segment during the quarter.

Price Performance

In the past six months, the stock has gained 8.1%% compared with the industry’s rally of 10.8%.

Other Stocks to Consider

Other top-ranked stocks in the same sector include ONEOK Inc. (OKE - Free Report) , PPL Corporation (PPL - Free Report) and National Fuel Gas Company (NFG - Free Report) , each currently having a Zacks Rank #2.

ONEOK, PPL Corp., and National Fuel Gas pay regular dividends, ensuring a steady income for investors. The current dividend yield of ONEOK, PPL Corp, and National Fuel Gas is 9.39%, 5.9% and 4.3% respectively.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 earnings for ONEOK and PPL Corp., has moved up 8.3%, and 6.3%, respectively, in the past 60 days.  In the same time frame, fiscal 2021 earnings estimates for National Fuel Gas have moved up 5.8%.

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